The purpose of this longitudinal study was to identify factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) in a teenage population in the Netherlands from ages 13.5 to 21.5 years. In a follow-up study 93 boys and 107 girls were measured annually from 1977 to 1980, and a fifth measurement was made in 1985. The CAD factors assessed were total serum cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), TC/HDL ratio, systolic (Psyst) and diastolic (Pdiast) blood pressure, percentage body fat (percent fat) and aerobic fitness (VO2 max/BW). The results indicate that the percentage of subjects at risk for CAD are relatively low in both sexes for all factors except for percent fat. From 20 to 30% of the subjects remain in the upper half of risk factor distribution throughout the 8 years study for TC, TC/HDL, percent fat, and VO2max/BW, indicating stability during the teenage period. Because percent fat combines a high stability with relatively high mean values during the teenage period in both sexes, this parameter seems a particularly important CAD risk factor in youngsters.
The authors are with the Faculty of Human Movement Science, Vrije Universiteit, AMC, Med. Faculty, Universiteit v. Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam ZO, The Netherlands.