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Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Dec 15;164(12):1160-70. Epub 2006 Oct 3.

Exposure to a nutrition supplementation intervention in early childhood and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adulthood: evidence from Guatemala.

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  • 1Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


To study the role of nutrition in the association of birth size and childhood growth with development of cardiovascular disease, the authors in 2002-2004 surveyed 665 men and 790 women aged 25-42 years who had been exposed as children to a community-randomized nutrition supplementation intervention in four villages in eastern Guatemala. Exposure was associated with a lower fasting glucose level (7.0 mg/dl, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.5, 13.5) for exposure at ages 36-72 months; lower systolic blood pressure (3.0 mmHg, 95% CI: 0.4, 5.6) for exposure at ages 24-60 months; and a lower triglyceride level (sex-adjusted; 22.2 mg/dl, 95% CI: 0.4, 44.1) and higher high density lipoprotein cholesterol level (males only; 4.7 mg/dl, 95% CI: 1.5, 7.9) for exposure prior to age 36 months. Improved nutrition at any age prior to 7 years was not associated with diastolic blood pressure, total or low density lipoprotein cholesterol level, or prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. Interventions designed to address nutrient deficiencies and ameliorate stunting that are targeted at pregnant women and young children are unlikely to increase cardiovascular disease risk later in life and may instead lower the risk.

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