|Clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors in adolescents|
Roya Kelishadi, Gholam Hossein Sadri, Ahmad Amani, Rezvan Ansari, Babak Sabet
Researchers have shown a direct relationship between the number of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and the extent of asymptomatic atherosclerosis from early life. Given that clustering of CVD risk factors begins early in life, and in view of its association with CVD risk factors in adulthood, more attention should be paid to CVD risk factors from early age.
Materials and methods
In a cross-sectional study, 2000 adolescents aged between 11 and 18 years were evaluated in 3 provincial Iranian cities. They were selected from amongst school students using multi-stage random sampling method according to CINDI protocol in proportion to urban/rural ratio and with equal numbers from the two sexes. Weight, height and blood pressure measurement and venous blood sampling were performed by trained nurses in the three cities. Blood samples were transported to the central laboratory of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center. After data entry in EPI, statistical analysis was performed with SPSS11/win.
There was at least one CVD risk factor in 56.6% (n=1131) of the studied population, with a prevalence of 53.4% in girls and 59.7% in boys. Clustering of two risk factors was present in 5.4% of the girls and 11.7% of the boys (i.e. 8.6% of the population, n=171). The number of risk factors increased with age and was significantly higher in boys.
There is an association between the presence of CVD risk factors in childhood and adulthood. More than half of the adolescents studied had at least one CVD risk factor; hence interventions aiming at life style change should be implemented from childhood. Such interventions would be more cost-effective than addressing established risk factors later in life.
Cardiovascular disease risk factors, Adolescents, Primary prevention