The relationships between childhood lifestyle risk factors and adulthood pulse wave velocity (PWV) have not been reported. We studied whether childhood and adulthood lifestyle risk factors are associated with PWV assessed in adulthood.
The study cohort comprised 1622 subjects of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study followed up for 27 years since baseline (1980; aged 3 to 18 years) with lifestyle risk factor data available since childhood. Arterial PWV was measured in 2007 by whole-body impedance cardiography device. Vegetable consumption in childhood was inversely associated with adulthood PWV (ß=-0.06, P=0.02), and this association remained significant (ß=-0.07, P=0.004) when adjusted for traditional risk factors (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and smoking). Vegetable consumption was also an independent predictor of PWV in adulthood when adjusted for lifestyle or traditional risk factors (ß=-0.08, P=0.002 and ß=-0.07, P=0.0007, respectively). Persistently high consumption of both fruits and vegetables from childhood to adulthood was associated with lower PWV compared with persistently low consumption (P=0.03 for both). The number of lifestyle risk factors (the lowest quintile for vegetable consumption, fruit consumption, physical activity, and smoking) in childhood was directly associated with PWV in adulthood (P=0.001). This association remained significant when adjusted for the number of lifestyle risk factors in adulthood (P=0.003).
These findings suggest that lifetime lifestyle risk factors, with low consumption of fruits and vegetables in particular, are related to arterial stiffness in young adulthood.