Clustering of risk factors for coronary heart disease. the longitudinal relationship with lifestyle

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not clustering of biological coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors exists and to investigate the longitudinal relationship between lifestyle parameters (dietary intake, daily physical activity, smoking behaviour, alcohol consumption) and a biological CHD risk factor clustering score. This was defined as belonging to one or more gender specific 'high risk' quartiles for the following CHD risk factors: ratio between total serum cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC:HDL), mean arterial blood pressure (MABP), body fatness [sum of skinfolds (SSF)], and cardiopulmonary fitness (VO2-max).

METHODS: The data were derived from the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study, an observational longitudinal study in which six repeated measurements were carried out over a period of 15 years covering adolescence and young adulthood. The longitudinal relationships were analysed with generalized estimating equations.

RESULTS: The results showed significant clustering for the TC:HDL ratio, SSF, and VO(2)-max. MABP was not significantly associated with the other CHD risk factors. Daily physical activity and alcohol consumption (only for males) were both inversely related to the clustering score. None of the other lifestyle parameters showed significant relationships with the clustering score.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on this small longitudinal study, it can be stated that during adolescence and young adulthood both daily physical activity and alcohol consumption were related to a healthy CHD risk profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-65
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Blood Pressure/physiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL/blood
  • Cholesterol/blood
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Coronary Disease/epidemiology
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking

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