Risk factors for cardiovascular disease identified in childhood increase the likelihood of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in adults. The main influence is cholesterol levels and smoking among adolescents.
A study by scientists from the University of Minnesota and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is the first to reveal a direct relationship between the presence of cardiovascular risk factors in childhood and the development of heart and vascular diseases in adulthood. The results were published in the journal NEJM.
The analysis showed that the hazard ratio for fatal cardiovascular events was 1.3 for each unit increase in total cholesterol z-score. Smoking during adolescence increases the likelihood of fatal cardiovascular events by 60% (RR = 1.6). The hazard ratio for fatal cardiovascular events adjusted for the combined risk factor z-score was 2.71 per unit increase.
Similar indicators were obtained using a comprehensive assessment of the probability of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events.
Scientists analyzed data from participants in the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort (i3C). They were able to identify 319 fatal cardiovascular events among 38,589 participants. In addition, in another group, 779 fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events were diagnosed among 20,656 people.
The researchers assessed the effects of body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides and smoking among participants aged 3 to 19 years on the development of cardiovascular disease in midlife. The observation period was 35 years.
Risk factor z-scores and combined z-scores were used in the analysis.