In a Finnish Multicentre Study, height, weight and skinfold thicknesses were measured in 3-, 6-, 9-, 12-, 15-, and 18-year-old children (N = 3,596). Height and weight percentiles superimposed on the current Finnish growth charts were above the standards in 6-15-year-old boys and 3-12-year-old girls. Triceps skinfold thickness percentiles (10% and 90%) appeared to be closest to British values and below American values. Weight, body mass index (BMI) and skinfold thicknesses showed good intercorrelations (up to .90) except in young boys. Height had a low positive correlation with BMI (.28 to .36) and with skinfold thickness (.23 to .36) in the age groups 6-12 years. BMI and subscapular skinfold seem to be useful obesity indicators. No consistent correlations were seen between physical variables and serum LDL- or total cholesterol and apoprotein B concentrations. There was a slight negative correlation between the physical variables and serum HDL-cholesterol. Apoprotein A1 correlated negatively to all obesity indicators in 12-year-old girls. Serum triglycerides showed slight positive correlation to physical variables. BMI and skinfolds had a low to moderate correlation with insulin (.21-.51) mainly in the three oldest age groups. On the ground of BMI and skinfold measurements we have reason to believe that the prevalence of obesity at 3-18 years of age is similar in Finland as in other countries in Europe.
In connection with the Finnish Multicentre Study on the precursors of atherosclerosis in 3-, 6-, 9-, 12-, 15- and 18-year-old children and adolescents, blood pressure was measured in 3,596 subjects in the five university hospital areas. Blood pressure was measured with an ultrasound device (Arteriosonde 1020, Roche) in the 3-year-old children, and an ordinary mercury sphygmomanometer was used in the rest of the subjects. The systolic and diastolic values increased with age as has been shown earlier. There were no significant differences in the values between boys and girls except that the 15- and 18-year-old boys had values a little higher than girls of the same age. Weight and height correlated well to both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Physical maturation also correlated to blood pressure.
In the Finnish Multicentre Study of the risk factors of coronary heart disease serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) was measured in 3,486 children and adolescents aged 3-18 years. Serum IRI increased with age till the age of 15 years in both sexes. The increase in serum IRI levelled off with the progression of pubertal development. Serum IRI levels were higher in girls than in boys from the age of 6 years onwards. Comparison of serum IRI gave identical results from eastern and western parts of the country. Serum IRI correlated positively with skinfold thickness, weight, relative weight and body mass index in all age groups except the 3-year-old children.
Excessive decreases in fat intake in young children have been linked with low intakes of energy and nutrients and possible growth failure.
We evaluated nutrient intakes and growth of healthy children with different fat intakes during the first 5 y of life.
In the Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project (STRIP), 7-mo-old children were randomly assigned to an intervention aimed at reduced consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol (n = 540) or to a control group (n = 522). This analysis comprises data for children for whom > or = 6 of 8 possible 3-4-d food records were available (n = 730; 353 females). Children were divided according to fat intake pattern (percentage of energy) between the ages of 13 mo and 5 y into groups with continuously high fat intake (5% of children), increasing fat intake (5%), continuously low fat intake (5%), decreasing fat intake (5%), and average fat intake (80%). Children's energy and nutrient intakes and growth were then compared by analysis of variance.
Fat intake at 13 mo of age was particularly low (21% of energy) in the increasing fat intake group and in the continuously low fat intake group (22% of energy at 13 mo; 26% of energy at 5 y). Growth of children in all 5 fat intake groups, however, was not significantly different throughout the study period. Intakes of vitamins and minerals, except of vitamin D, met recommended dietary allowances in all fat intake groups.
Nutrient intakes and growth were not significantly different in children whose fat intake patterns differed between 13 mo and 5 y of age.
The role of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its gene polymorphisms in the development of atherosclerosis has become increasingly evident. In asthma, NPY has been shown to be involved as immunomodulator. In this study, we investigated the role of two functional NPY polymorphisms, NPY-Leu7Pro (rs16139) and NPY-399C/T (rs16147) and obesity for the development of asthma as well as atherosclerosis in asthmatic and non-asthmatic subjects. Also, we measured heart rate variability (HRV) and NPY in serum since these might contribute through these polymorphisms to both diseases.
Thousand hundred and seventy six Finnish young adults were genotyped and three groups (G1-G3) were formed based on the observed diplotypes. The NPY-Pro7 allele always co-existed with the NPY-399T allele indicating complete linkage disequilibrium. Here we show that overweight (BMI=25kg/m2) was associated with 2.5-fold increased risk for asthma in subjects with the NPY-399T allele without NPY-Pro7 allele (G2, n=716). Overweight was also associated with increased atherosclerosis determined by carotid intima media thickness (cIMT), but asthma seemed to be more significant determinant than overweight in determing cIMT having a decreasing effect. NPY concentration in serum was diplotype-driven (G1=792.2(29.5), G2=849.0(18.9), G3=873.9(45.2) pg/ml) and correlated positively with cIMT in the group having NPY-Pro7 allele (G3, n=142). However, the subjects with asthma had a negative NPY-cIMT relationship. Total HRV was increased in asthma and correlated negatively with cIMT irrespective of the NPY genotype.
Overweight together with the NPY-399T allele without NPY-Pro7 allele was associated with increased risk for asthma. Atherosclerosis was decreased in subjects with asthma depending on the NPY genotype. The results reveal novel insights into the genetics and biology of the relationship of atherosclerosis and asthma.