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Heart, Lung and Circulation

More to Determine About Early Vascular Ageing in Young People

      Recent work has demonstrated, for the first time, a direct association between early life cardiovascular risk factors and adult cardiovascular events and mortality [
      • Jacobs Jr., D.R.
      • Woo J.G.
      • Sinaiko A.R.
      • Daniels S.R.
      • Ikonen J.
      • Juonala M.
      • et al.
      Childhood cardiovascular risk factors and adult cardiovascular events.
      ]. This finding is significant, especially given that risk factors in young people are increasingly common. Importantly, young adulthood (from age 18–25 years) is a distinct developmental period where values, beliefs and perceptions that influence adult health behaviours are established. However, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in this population is alarmingly high. More than 80% of the world’s adolescent population are insufficiently active [
      World Health Organisation
      Physical activity. Geneva, Switzerland.
      ] and, likely partly as a consequence, the prevalence of obesity in young adults (aged 18–25 years) increased 6% from 1976–80 to 2017–18 in the United State of America (US), whereas the prevalence of normal weight decreased from 69% to 38% [
      • Ellison-Barnes A.
      • Johnson S.
      • Gudzune K.
      Trends in obesity prevalence among adults aged 18 through 25 years, 1976-2018.
      ]. Furthermore in 2017–18, 31% of US men aged 18–39 years and 13% of women of the same age had hypertension [
      ]. Thus, unless anything is done to curb the growing prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, there is likely to be a tsunami of health and economic burden related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) as today’s young people age.

      Keywords

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