The relation between 'long term exposure' to lifestyle during youth and young adulthood and risk factors for cardiovascular disease

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PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between lifestyle (dietary intake of macronutrients, smoking behavior, alcohol consumption and daily physical activity) from 13-29 years of age ("long-term exposure") and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (lipoprotein levels, blood pressure, body fatness, and body composition) at the age of 29 years.

METHODS: The study was part of the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study, which began in 1977, and in which repeated measurements were carried out over a period of 17 years on 181 subjects (98 females and 83 males).

RESULTS: "Long-term exposure" to smoking behavior was inversely related to high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) levels (p = 0.02) and positively to the total cholesterol/HDL ratio (p = 0.05). Both smoking behavior and alcohol consumption were inversely related to blood pressure (p < 0.01). "Long-term exposure" to daily physical activity was inversely related to body fatness (p < 0.01), but for females positively to the waist/hip ratio (p < 0.01). No relationship was found between the dietary intake of macronutrients and the CVD risk factors. When "long-term exposure" was limited to adolescence (13-16 years of age) only the relationship between daily physical activity and the waist/hip ratio for females remained significant (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: "Long-term" smoking behavior was related to a high risk profile regarding hypercholesterolemia, but to a low risk profile regarding blood pressure. The latter was also found for "long-term" alcohol consumption. "Long-term" daily physical activity was related to a low risk profile regarding body fatness; but for females, surprisingly, to a high risk profile regarding body fat distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of adolescent health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Lipids/blood
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Time Factors

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