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Ann Med. 1991 Feb;23(1):35-9.

Cardiovascular risk in young Finns.

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  • 1Children's Hospital, Second Department of Pediatrics, University of Helsinki, Finland.


This report describes the general outline and progress of a multicentre study on risk factors of coronary heart disease and their determinants in children and adolescents. "Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns" comprises a cross-sectional study of 3 to 18-year old subjects in 1980, and follow-up studies in 1983 and 1986 in various parts of Finland, and in 1989 in one of the study areas (Turku). The number of participants in 1980 was 3596 (83.1%) of those invited. In 1983 and 1986 83.2% and 77.8% of them, respectively, participated. The study programme has comprised questionnaire data on, for example, general health and living conditions, physical activity, eating habits, smoking, and psychological variables. The physical examination covered height, weight, skinfold thickness, pubertal stages and blood pressure. Blood specimens were obtained to assess concentrations of serum lipids and insulin, and in 1986 also for possible genetic markers of hypercholesterolemia. A 48 hour recall on nutrient intake was obtained from some of the subjects. The follow-up studies have enabled a study of the tracking phenomenon. Other important questions under study include, for example, the possible clustering of risk factors and their determinants. The cohorts studied provide a valuable research basis for the future, with emphasis on enabling a long-term follow-up of the subjects.

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