Aim: Little is known about the impact of having one cardiovascular (CV) risk factor on the levels of other CV risk factors in the general adolescent population. We hypothesized that when adolescents have one CV risk factor, the levels of other CV risk factors worsen simultaneously.
Methods: Subjects consisted of 1,257 healthy adolescent volunteers (549 males and 708 females) aged 15-18 years. Abdominal obesity, hypertension, raised triglyceride levels, decreased HDL-cholesterol levels and hyperglycemia were used as CV risk factors. Homeostasis assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was used as a surrogate marker of insulin resistance. Levels of four biomarkers, leptin, adiponectin, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, and desacyl-ghrelin, were also determined. Cut-offs for gender-specific individual CV risk factor levels were based on the 90th (or 10th) percentile values of the subjects in the present study.
Results: The levels of all CV risk factors and HOMA-IR significantly and simultaneously worsened when adolescents had one CV risk factor in both genders. Having any one CV risk factor indicated the development of other CV risk factors in adolescents; in particular, we found that the development of abdominal obesity in male subjects had a harmful effect on the levels of other CV risk factors and was associated with the worsening of all four biomarkers examined.
Conclusions: It is important to determine the presence or absence of these CV risk factors before and/or during adolescence, because having one CV risk factor indicates the start of an accumulation of CV risk factors in the general adolescent population.