University Of Tasmania

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

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 11:59 authored by Kaikkonen, JE, Mikkila, V, Costan MagnussenCostan Magnussen, Juonala, M, Viikari, JSA, Raitakari, OT
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.


Publication title

Annals of Medicine








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Taylor & Francis A B

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified