Abstract MP21: Achieving Cardiovascular Health in Young Adulthood - Do Adolescent Factors Matter?
Introduction: Adults who reach middle age with optimal levels of three physiologic factors – blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose – have lower rates of CVD mortality compared to those with one or more of these risk factors in the non-optimal range. The American Heart Association has identified four healthy lifestyle components – BMI, smoking, diet, and physical activity – important for preserving optimal cardiovascular health as people age. However, which lifestyle components in adolescence are most strongly associated with physiologic markers of cardiovascular health in adulthood is unclear. The purpose of this study was to quantify associations between lifestyle components measured in adolescence and optimal physiologic cardiovascular health in young adulthood.
Methods: Analyses included 9,697 young adults, age 24-32 years in 2007-2008, who participated in Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. We defined optimal physiologic cardiovascular heath as untreated blood pressure <120/80 mmHg, untreated fasting blood glucose <100 mg/dL and hemoglobin A1C < 5.7%, untreated total cholesterol in the bottom 7 (women) or 6 (men) deciles for the study population, and absence of diabetes or CVD as measured at Wave IV. We used logistic regression models to estimate the odds of having optimal physiologic cardiovascular health in young adulthood according to BMI category, smoking status, and physical activity patterns measured during Waves I and II when participants were ages 11-20 years. Dietary data were not available. Models were adjusted for age, sex, race, educational attainment, and income in young adulthood.
Results: Few young adults (16%, 1,592 of 9,697) had optimal physiologic cardiovascular health. Young adults who had been normal-weighted in adolescence were more likely to have optimal physiologic cardiovascular health (18.4%, 1,382 of 7,206) compared to those who had been overweight (9.4%, 142 of 1,429) or obese (6.9%, 68 of 1,062). In models adjusted for young adult sociodemographic factors, participants who had been overweight or obese as adolescents were less than half as likely as those who had been normal-weighted to have optimal physiologic cardiovascular health in young adulthood (overweight odds ratio (OR) 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.35-0.61; obese OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.28-0.57). Adolescent tobacco smoking and physical activity were not associated with young adult cardiovascular health.
Conclusions: Maintaining a healthy weight in adolescence may be the most important lifestyle factor for reaching young adulthood with optimal physiologic cardiovascular health. Overweight and obese adolescents should be encouraged to achieve a healthy weight through adherence to diet and physical activity goals.
Author Disclosures: H.C. Gooding: None. C. Milliren: None. C.M. Shay: None. T.K. Richmond: None. A.E. Field: None. M.W. Gillman: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.