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Maher, Gillian M.; Ryan, Lisa; McCarthy, Fergus P.; Hughes, Alun; Park, Chloe; Fraser, Abigail; Howe, Laura D.; Kearney, Patricia M.; O'Keeffe, Linda M.
BMC medicine
Puberty timing and markers of cardiovascular structure and function at 25 years: a prospective cohort study
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Puberty Cardiovascular structure ALSPAC
Background Whether earlier onset of puberty is associated with higher cardiovascular risk in early adulthood is not well understood. Our objective was to examine the association between puberty timing and markers of cardiovascular structure and function at age 25 years. Methods We conducted a prospective birth cohort study using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Participants were born between April 1, 1991, and December 31, 1992. Exposure of interest was age at peak height velocity (aPHV), an objective and validated growth-based measure of puberty onset. Outcome measures included cardiovascular structure and function at age 25 years: carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and relative wall thickness (RWT), pulse wave velocity (PWV) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Multiple imputation was used to impute missing data on covariates and outcomes. Linear regression was used to examine the association between aPHV and each measure of cardiac structure and function, adjusting for maternal age, gestational age, household social class, maternal education, mother's partner's education, breastfeeding, parity, birthweight, maternal body mass index, maternal marital status, maternal prenatal smoking status and height and fat mass at age 9. All analyses were stratified by sex. Results A total of 2752-4571 participants were included in the imputed analyses. A 1-year older aPHV was not strongly associated with markers of cardiac structure and function in males and females at 25 years and most results spanned the null value. In adjusted analyses, a 1-year older aPHV was associated with 0.003 mm (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.00001, 0.006) and 0.0008 mm (95% CI - 0.002, 0.003) higher CIMT; 0.02 m/s (95% CI - 0.05, 0.09) and 0.02 m/s (95% CI - 0.04, 0.09) higher PWV; and 0.003 mmHg (95% CI - 0.60, 0.60) and 0.13 mmHg (95% CI - 0.44, 0.70) higher SBP, among males and females, respectively. A 1-year older aPHV was associated with - 0.55 g/m(2.7) (95% CI - 0.03, - 1.08) and - 0.89 g/m(2.7) (95% CI - 0.45, - 1.34) lower LVMI and - 0.001 (95% CI - 0.006, 0.002) and - 0.002 (95% CI - 0.006, 0.002) lower RWT among males and females. Conclusions Earlier puberty is unlikely to have a major impact on pre-clinical cardiovascular risk in early adulthood.
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