Cardiovascular Risk Clustering in Adolescents Useful

Simple tool may predict those at risk for cardiovascular disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular risk clustering -- the presence of two or more cardiovascular risk factors -- may indicate abnormal vascular function in adolescents and can be a reliable tool for use in clinical practice, according to research published online Jan. 17 in Pediatrics.

Amy S. Shah, M.D., of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues categorized 474 young people (mean age, 18 years) as low-risk (zero or one risk factor) or high-risk (at least two risk factors) based on their cardiovascular risk factors. Their objective was to determine if clustering cardiovascular risks could be useful for detecting early atherosclerotic changes and to assess how risk clustering compares with the accepted Patholobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth risk score.

The researchers found higher vascular thickness and stiffness in the high-risk group, and identified an association between clustering cardiovascular risks and abnormal vascular structure and function. The Patholobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth score, too, was associated with vascular structure and function.

"Cardiovascular risk clustering is a reliable tool for assessing abnormal vascular function. Its simplicity, compared with the Patholobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth score, provides an advantageous tool for the practicing clinician to identify those youth who are at higher risk for early cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

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