Fast Five Quiz: Cardiovascular Disease Primary Prevention

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


March 06, 2023

For the first time in 2022, robust data directly linked childhood risk factors (body mass index, systolic blood pressure, smoking, total cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels) and cardiovascular events later in life. The International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort (i3C) Consortium reported that these traditional CVD risk factors present in children and adolescents were associated with cardiovascular events three or more decades later.

Although individuals with the highest level of childhood risk factors also had the highest risk for later cardiovascular events, even typical, slightly elevated risk scores were associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular events compared with those who had the lowest childhood risk factor levels. Beginning as early as age 40 years, the i3C researchers found clear associations between a high level of each childhood risk factor and the occurrence of CVD later in life. For each unit higher in the combined childhood risk factor score, the risk for having a cardiovascular event in adulthood nearly tripled for all participants, not just those older than 60 years. Smoking had the highest associated risk.

Learn more about risk factors for heart disease.


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