European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 33–38 | Cite as

Birth Size and Coronary Heart Disease Risk Score in Young Adulthood. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults (ARYA) Study

  • L. E. Vos
  • A. Oren
  • M. L. Bots
  • W. H. M. Gorissen
  • D. E. Grobbee
  • C. S. P. M. Uiterwaal


Data of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults (ARYA) study were used to investigate the association between birth size and the absolute risk for coronary heart disease in healthy young adults. The cohort study comprises 750 (46.9% men) subjects born between 1970 and 1973. Birth characteristics were obtained from school health records. At young adulthood, blood pressure, anthropometry and fasting lipid levels were measured. Questionnaires were taken about smoking and diabetes. The young adult 10-year risk for coronary heart disease was calculated using the Framingham risk score. The overall 10-year risk for coronary heart disease was 1.6% (standard deviation (SD) 1.9), 3.0% (SD 1.9) in men and 0.3% (SD 0.2) in women. Using linear regression it was shown that a SD lower birth weight (=0.54 kg) was associated with 0.1% greater risk in the overall population (95% confidence interval (CI): −0.19, −0.004). Similarly, a lower ponderal index at birth was associated with an 0.11% higher risk (95% CI: −0.21, −0.002). These relations were stronger in men. Lower birth length was related with an increased risk in women (−0.02% risk/SD birth length; 95% CI: −0.04, 0.0001). These results suggest that small birth size is associated with an increased risk score for coronary artery disease in young adulthood.


Birth weight Coronary heart disease Prediction Risk score Young adulthood 



Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults


confidence interval


high-density- lipoprotein




standard deviation


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. E. Vos
    • 1
  • A. Oren
    • 1
  • M. L. Bots
    • 1
  • W. H. M. Gorissen
    • 2
  • D. E. Grobbee
    • 1
  • C. S. P. M. Uiterwaal
    • 1
  1. 1.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical CenterUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent HealthMunicipal Health ServicesUtrechtThe Netherlands

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