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Does childhood nutrition influence adult cardiovascular disease risk? - Insights from the Young Finns Study


Kaikkonen, JE and Mikkila, V and Magnussen, CG and Juonala, M and Viikari, JSA and Raitakari, OT, Does childhood nutrition influence adult cardiovascular disease risk? - Insights from the Young Finns Study, Annals of Medicine, 45, (2) pp. 120-128. ISSN 1365-2060 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.3109/07853890.2012.671537


There is a paucity of detailed information about the role of childhood food patterns or on the impact of individual nutrients on adulthood cardiovascular disease (CVD). We review here the reports that have investigated these questions in the Young Finns Study with its 3596 subjects at baseline, aged 3 to 18 years. All the participants filled in a food habit questionnaire, and half of them provided a 48-hour dietary recall interview. In adulthood, cardiovascular risk factors as well as structural and functional markers of subclinical atherosclerosis were measured, i.e. carotid artery intima media thickness (IMT), and measurements of arterial elasticity and brachial artery endothelial function. Our data demonstrate that dietary patterns can already be identified in childhood. These patterns remain relatively stable over the life-course and associate with cardiovascular risk factors and vascular markers of subclinical atherosclerosis. For example, a traditional dietary pattern characterized by low intakes of fruits and vegetables was associated with elevated increased adulthood IMT especially in men, whereas a diet with a high intake of vegetables was independently associated with increased arterial elasticity in both genders. Our findings and the current literature suggest that childhood nutrition has a significant role in the progression of CVD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adulthood, cardiovascular disease, childhood nutrition, food intake, intima media thickness, metabolic syndrome, vascular health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
ID Code:77981
Year Published:2013 (online first 2012)
Web of Science® Times Cited:80
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2012-06-07
Last Modified:2017-11-06
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