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Childhood growth and cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stressors in late adulthood

Feldt, K., Räikkönen, K., Eriksson, J.G., Andersson, S., Osmond, C., Barker, D.J.P., Phillips, D.I.W. and Kajantie, E. (2008) Childhood growth and cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stressors in late adulthood Journal of Internal Medicine, 264, (1), pp. 72-82. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.01923.x).

Record type: Article


OBJECTIVE: Specific childhood growth patterns relate to risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease later in life, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We studied whether CV reactivity, a predictor of CV disease risk, is associated with childhood growth trajectories. METHODS: A total of 144 (77 women and 67 men) participants of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study born 1934-1944, whose height and weight were recorded repeatedly during the first 11 years, underwent the Trier Social Stress Test at the average age of 63 years. Beat-to-beat blood pressure was monitored via noninvasive finger photoplethysmograph (Finometer), and CV reactivity scores were determined as the mean increment from baseline. RESULTS: In both women and men, systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity increased by 3.8 mmHg (95% CI 0.8-6.9) and diastolic BP (DBP) reactivity by 1.4 mmHg (95% CI 0.0-2.8) for every standard deviation increase in gain in body mass index (kg m(-2)) between 7 and 11 years. By contrast, effects of height gain were dissimilar between sexes. In women, higher DBP reactivity was associated with a slow gain in height between 0 and 2 years, whilst in men higher SBP reactivity was associated with a slow gain in height between 2 and 7 years, which was preceded by a more rapid gain in height between 0 and 2 years. Adjusting for adult body size, body size at birth or childhood socio-economic status did not change the results. CONCLUSIONS: We found that growth during childhood is associated with CV reactivity to stress later in adulthood. Early life programming of CV reactivity may partly underlie the link between early growth and CV disease.

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Published date: July 2008
Keywords: size, methods, early-life, body mass index, childhood, blood pressure, women, cohort, adult, height, psychology, disease, weight, cohort studies, mass, men, body size, cardiovascular, pressure, stress, finland, programming, growth, birth, research, blood, risk, blood-pressure


Local EPrints ID: 61110
ISSN: 0954-6820
PURE UUID: 2a0e3eb2-094b-480a-a11b-a5e006e76b48
ORCID for C. Osmond: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 25 Sep 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:22

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Author: K. Feldt
Author: K. Räikkönen
Author: J.G. Eriksson
Author: S. Andersson
Author: C. Osmond ORCID iD
Author: D.J.P. Barker
Author: D.I.W. Phillips
Author: E. Kajantie

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