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Am J Hum Biol. 2004 Nov-Dec;16(6):690-6.

Stability of variables associated with the metabolic syndrome from adolescence to adulthood: the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study.

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Department of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA.


The purpose of the study was to examine the stability of variables associated with the metabolic syndrome from adolescence to adulthood. The sample included 48 subjects from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who had one clinical visit during adolescence (mean age = 15.8 years) and a follow-up visit during adulthood (mean age = 26.6 years). The following variables were considered: treadmill time to exhaustion (TM), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), percent body fat (%BF), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), TC:HDL-C, triglycerides (TG), glucose (GLU), and systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), and mean (MAP) blood pressure. A composite risk factor score using variables consistent with the WHO and ATP III definition of the metabolic syndrome (WC, HDL-C, TG, MAP, and GLU) was calculated. Tracking coefficients were computed as partial correlations, controlling for length of follow-up (mean = 11 years). Tracking coefficients (r values) were moderate for all variables (TM, 0.53; BMI, 0.64; WC; 0.79;%BF, 0.44; TC, 0.62; HDL-C, 0.60; TG, 0.54; TC:HDL-C, 0.78; SBP, 0.45; and MAP, 0.41), except GLU (0.26) and DBP (0.21). The composite risk factor score also tracked moderately well (0.56) from adolescence into adulthood. The results support previous findings that variables associated with the metabolic syndrome track moderately well from adolescence to adulthood. The findings support the prevention and treatment of obesity, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome during childhood and adolescence.

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