Background: Ideal cardiovascular health (CVH), defined by the American Heart Association, is associated with incident cardiovascular disease in adults. However, association of the ideal CVH in childhood with current and future cardiac structure and function has not been studied.
Methods and results: The sample comprised 827 children participating in the longitudinal Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project (STRIP) and The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS). In STRIP, complete data on the seven ideal CVH metrics and left ventricular (LV) mass measured with echocardiography were available at the age of 15 (n=321), 17 (n=309) and 19 (n=283) years. In YFS, the cohort comprised children aged 12-18years (n=506) with complete ideal CVH metrics data from childhood and 25years later in adulthood, and echocardiography performed in adulthood. In STRIP, ideal CVH score was inversely associated with LV mass during childhood (P=0.036). In YFS, childhood ideal CVH score was inversely associated with LV mass, LV end-diastolic volume, E/e' ratio, and left atrium end-systolic volume in adulthood (all P<0.01). In addition, improvement of the ideal CVH score between childhood and adulthood was inversely associated with LV mass, LV end-diastolic volume, E/e' ratio, and left atrium end-systolic volume (all P≤0.03).
Conclusions: Childhood ideal CVH score has a long-lasting effect on cardiac structure and function, and the association is evident already in childhood. Our findings support targeting the ideal CVH metrics as part of primordial prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease prevention; Diastolic dysfunction; Echocardiography; Left ventricular mass; Risk factors.
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