Population trends toward increasing cardiovascular risk factors in Canadian adolescents

Brian W. McCrindle, Cedric Manlhiot, Kyle Millar, Don Gibson, Karen Stearne, Heather Kilty, Dawn Prentice, Helen Wong, Nita Chahal, Stafford W. Dobbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine prevalence and cross-sectional trends over time for cardiovascular risk factors in Canadian adolescents. Study design: Cross-sectional trends in cardiovascular risk and lifestyle factors were gathered annually in 14- to 15-year-old students in the Niagara region, Ontario, Canada. Results: A total of 20 719 adolescents were screened between 2002 and 2008. The proportion of obese adolescents (>95th percentile for body mass index [BMI]) increased significantly, by +0.34%/year (P = .002). The proportions of adolescents with borderline high cholesterol (4.4-5.1 mmol/L) (+0.57%/year; P <.001) and with high cholesterol (≥5.2 mmol/L) (+0.43%/year; P <.001) both increased significantly over time. The proportion of adolescents with prehypertension decreased by -0.23%/year (P = .02), whereas the proportion of those with stage I hypertension (5%-6%) or stage II hypertension (2%-4%) remained constant. The proportion of adolescents classified as being at high cardiovascular risk increased by +0.67%/year (P <.001). Family history, low levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, poor nutrition, and lower socioeconomic status were all independently and negatively associated with all aspects of cardiovascular risk. Conclusions: A significant proportion of 14- to 15-year-old Canadian adolescents have at least one cardiovascular risk factor, and the cross-sectional trends worsened during the period 2002-2008.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-843
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • BMI
  • Body mass index
  • CVD
  • Cardiovascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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