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Original Research The European Youth Heart Study—Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Children: Rationale, Aims, Study Design, and Validation of Methods



Background: The aim of the European Youth Heart Study (EYHS) is to establish the nature, strength, and interactions between personal, environmental, and lifestyle influences on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in European children. Methods: The EYHS is an international study measuring CVD risk factors, and their associated influences, in children. Relationships between these independent factors and risk of disease will inform the design of CVD interventions in children. A minimum of 1000 boys and girls ages 9 and 15 y were recruited from four European countries—Denmark, Estonia, Norway, and Portugal. Variables measured included physical, biochemical, lifestyle, psychosocial, and sociodemographic data. Results: Of the 5664 children invited to participate, 4169 (74%) accepted. Response rates for most individual tests were moderate to high. All test protocols were well received by the children. Conclusions: EYHS protocols are valid, reliable, acceptable to children, and feasible for use in large, field-based studies.

Authors: Chris Riddoch, Dawn Edwards, Angela Page, Karsten Froberg, Sigmund A. Anderssen, Niels Wedderkopp, Søren Brage, Ashley Cooper, Maarike Harro, Lena Klasson Heggebø, Willem van Mechelen, Colin Boreham, Ulf Ekelund, Lars Bo Andersen, European Youth Heart Study team

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