Cardiovascular risk factor overweight: New publications shed light on height and weight trajectories from infancy to young adulthood

A major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in young adults is overweight or obesity in adolescence. VASCage project leaders Prof. Dr. Ursula Kiechl-Kohlendorfer (Director of the Department of Paediatrics II, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of Innsbruck MUI), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Michael Knoflach (Dept. of Neurology, MUI) and her co-workers have published results that are crucial for the implementation of adequate prevention measures. They contributed with their results of the early vascular ageing (EVA) study Tyrol to a publication in Lancet ‘Height and body-mass index trajectories of school-aged children and adolescents from 1985 to 2019 in 200 countries and territories: a pooled analysis of 2181 population-based studies with 65 million participants‘ (Lancet 2020;396:1511-24). This study gives a worldwide overview and reveals a highly variable nutrional and health status across countries.

The specific situation in Tyrol is analysed in the publication ‘Birth Weight and Weight Changes from Infancy to Early Childhood as Predictors of Body Mass Index in Adolescence‘. It shows that a greater than expected weight gain at any time in the first years of life is associated with an increased body mass index (BMI) in adolescence. (J Pediatr 2020;222:120-6)

The EVA study was conducted at the Department of Paediatrics (MUI) from May 2015 to July 2018. Research on early vascular ageing is continued in new and ongoing studies at VASCage.