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Ann Med. 1999 Apr;31 Suppl 1:45-54.

Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study: general outline and recent developments.

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  • 1Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Finland.


The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study is a collaborative effort of all university departments of paediatrics and several other institutions in Finland to study the risk factors of coronary heart disease (CHD) and their determinants in children and adolescents in different parts of the country. The main cross-sectional study carried out in 1980 included 3596 3-18-year-old subjects. Follow-up studies have been performed in 1983, 1986, 1989 and 1992; in the last of these studies the subjects were 15-30 years old. The findings in anthropometry, obesity and blood pressure have been rather similar to reports from other countries in Europe. However, serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were higher than in other countries, 4.83 mmol/L and 3.09 mmol/L, respectively in 1980. By 1992 a decrease of 8% took place, probably as a result of dietary changes. Apolipoprotein phenotypes E4E4 or E4E3 were relatively frequent (34%) in the sample. Tracking and clustering have also been studied. Serum insulin levels predicted the clustering of the typical risk factor profile associated with insulin resistance syndrome. The dietary polyunsaturated to saturated fat (P/S) ratio increased from 0.26 in 1980 to 0.39 in 1992, with no significant changes in the total energy derived from fat. 'Hard-driving' was found to be the psychological risk factor most consistently related to the CHD risk factor level.

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