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Am J Epidemiol. 1997 May 15;145(10):888-98.

Tracking of risk factors for coronary heart disease over a 14-year period: a comparison between lifestyle and biologic risk factors with data from the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study.

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Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Because the magnitude of tracking coefficients (i.e., stability coefficients and tracking for subjects at risk) greatly depends on the initial age of subjects, the number and spacing of longitudinal measurements, and the length of the total time period, it is difficult to compare tracking coefficients from different studies with each other. Because in the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study both biologic (i.e., lipoproteins, blood pressure, body fatness, and cardiopulmonary fitness) and lifestyle (i.e., dietary intake, daily physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption) risk factors for coronary heart disease were measured, this study gives the unique possibility of comparing tracking coefficients of biologic and lifestyle risk factors within one data set. In the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study, six repeated measurements were carried out on 181 subjects over a period from 13 to 27 years of age, beginning in 1977. The results indicated that, over a period of 14 years covering adolescence and young adulthood, both stability coefficients and tracking for subjects at risk for lifestyle risk factors were low (except for smoking), indicating low predictability of early measurements for values later in life. For the biologic risk factors cardiopulmonary fitness and blood pressure, tracking was also low, while for the lipoproteins and body fatness, tracking was much better, indicating good predictability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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