Abstract P387: Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Children in a 20 year Community Study: Influence of the Family
Background: High cholesterol, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and obesity can be identified during childhood. Identifying the underlying contributors to such risk factors may allow young families the opportunity to modify health habits. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and their associated predictors among Northern Colorado children and their families.
Methods: The Poudre Valley Health System (PVHS), Healthy Hearts Club has provided a successful cardiovascular screening program for the past ∼20 years (1993–2011) to identify risk factors among students in six Northern Colorado school districts (a primarily white population ∼90%). Schools were selected based on willingness to participate. Data were collected cross-sectionally with objective measures of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), blood pressure and body mass index (BMI). Surveys were filled out by the parent and/or legal guardian and included questions about diet and physical activity of the child as well as these behaviors and risk factors among family members.
Results: There were 9,363 children with information for the measured risk factors (mean age, 10.4 years, range, 6.2–18 years, 49% female). The prevalence of the six measured risk factors included 39% with total cholesterol > 170 mg/dl, 10.7%, with HDL-C < 35 mg/dl, 11.7% with Cholesterol/HDL ratio >4.8, 7.2% with systolic blood pressure > 120 mmHg, 8.2% with diastolic blood pressure > 80 mmHg and 21.1% with BMI > 85 percentile for age and sex. There were 40.8%, 35%, 14.5%, 6.2%, 2.4%, 0.8% and 0.2% with 0–6 risk factors respectively. Of those with zero risk factors 25.7% reported a family member (other than the child) being overweight while 68.2% reported such among those with five risk factors; similarly 16.4% reported a family member who smokes (among children with zero risk factors) as compared to 24% with five risk factors. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes trended similar.
Conclusions: The prevalence of CVD risk factors among these children is substantial and is associated with such risk factors among the family. This data suggests risk factor reduction must not be done in isolation of the family.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.