Inflammation markers are associated with cardiovascular diseases risk in adolescents: the Young Hearts project 2000

Nienke J Wijnstok, Jos W R Twisk, Ian S Young, Jayne V Woodside, Cheryl McFarlane, Jane McEneny, T. Hoekstra, Liam J Murray, Colin A G Boreham

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: The traditional approach for identifying subjects at risk from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is to determine the extent of clustering of biological risk factors adjusted for lifestyle. Recently, markers of endothelial dysfunction and low grade inflammation, including high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), soluble intercellular adhesion molecules (sICAM), and soluble vascular adhesion molecules (sVCAM), have been included in the detection for high risk individuals. However, the relationship of these novel biomarkers with CVD risk in adolescents remains unclear. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to establish the association of hsCRP, sICAM, and sVCAM with CVD risk in an adolescent population.

METHODS: Data from the Young Hearts 2000 cross-sectional cohort study, carried out in 1999-2001, were used. From a total of 2,017 male and female participants, 95 obese subjects were identified and matched according to age, sex, and cigarette smoking, with 95 overweight and 95 normal-weight adolescents. Clustered CVD risk was computed using a sum of Z-scores of biological risk factors. The relationship was described using multiple linear regression analyses.

RESULTS: hsCRP, sICAM, and sVCAM showed significant associations with CVD risk. hsCRP and sICAM had a positive relation with CVD risk, whereas sVCAM showed an inverse relationship. In this study, lifestyle factors showed no relation with CVD risk.

CONCLUSION: The results fit the hypothesized role of low grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in CVD risk in asymptomatic adolescents. The inverse relationship of VCAM, however, is hard to explain and indicates the complex mechanisms underlying CVD. Further research is needed to draw firm conclusions on the biomarkers used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note



  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Child
  • Cholesterol
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides
  • Vascular Diseases
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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