Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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O'Keeffe LM;Simpkin AJ;Tilling K;Anderson EL;Hughes AD;Lawlor DA;Fraser A;Howe LD;
Sex-specific trajectories of measures of cardiovascular health during childhood and adolescence: A prospective cohort study.
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Sex differences in measures of cardiovascular health in adults are well documented. However, the sex-specific aetiology of cardiovascular health across childhood and adolescence is poorly understood. We examined sex differences in trajectories of 11 measures of cardiovascular health from birth to 18 years, in a contemporary birth cohort study in England (N participants per outcomes: 662-13,985, N repeated measures per outcome: 1,831-112,768). Outcomes were measured over varying time spans from birth or mid-childhood to age 18 and with different numbers of repeated measures per outcome. Analyses were performed using fractional polynomial and linear spline multilevel models. Females had higher mean BMI, height-adjusted fat mass, pulse rate, insulin, triglycerides, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and lower mean height-adjusted lean mass from birth or from mid-childhood to age 18. For example, mean non-HDL-c was 0.07żmmol/l (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.04, 0.10) higher in females compared with males at birth. By age 18, this difference persisted and widened to 0.19żmmol/l (95% CI, 0.16, 0.23) higher non-HDL-c in females compared with males. Females had lower levels of glucose from mid-childhood and developed lower systolic blood pressure and higher HDL-c from mid-adolescence onward. For example, females had 0.08żmmol/l (95% CI, 0.05, 0.10) lower mean glucose compared with males at age seven which widened to a difference of 0.22żmmol/l (95% CI, 0.25, 0.19) at age 18. Sex differences in measures of cardiovascular health are apparent from birth or mid-childhood and change during early life. These differences may have implications for sex-specific disease risk in future adult populations.
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