Metabolic Syndrome From Adolescence to Early Adulthood | Journal Scan

Study Questions:

Does an infancy-onset dietary intervention reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS) among adolescents?


Data from the STRIP study (Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project for Children), a longitudinal randomized prevention trial, were used for the present analysis. The trial recruited families with 5-month-olds from clinics in Turku, Finland between 1990 and 1992. The primary aim of the study was to reduce atherosclerosis. The intervention involved repeated dietary counseling with the aim to reduce intake of saturated fat from infancy to early adulthood. Participants who had compete data on components of MetS including waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol at the age of 15 (n = 512), 16 (n = 485), 17 (n = 475), 18 (n = 459), 19 (n = 439), and 20 (n = 407) years were included in the study.


Between the ages of 15 and 20 years, the prevalence of MetS varied between 6.0% and 7.5% in participants in the intervention group, and between 10% and 14% in the control group. The long-term relative risk (RR) of MetS was significantly lower in the intervention group (relative risk [RR], 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40-0.88; p = 0.009). Of the individual MetS components, the intervention decreased risk of high blood pressure in both sexes (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.70-0.99) and high triglycerides in males (RR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.52-0.98). A statistically nonsignificant reduction was seen in the risk of high waist circumference in the intervention individuals (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.59-1.03).


The authors concluded that repeated infancy-onset dietary intervention is effective in the prevention of MetS in adolescence.


These data suggest that a healthy diet starting in infancy can reduce the risk for MetS. Given the significant increased risk of MetS for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, such inventions, if scalable to the general population, could translate into significant public health improvements.

Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Dyslipidemia, Prevention, CHD and Pediatrics and Arrhythmias, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, CHD and Pediatrics and Quality Improvement, Hypertriglyceridemia, Lipid Metabolism, Nonstatins, Diet

Keywords: Atherosclerosis, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, HDL, Control Groups, Counseling, Metabolic Syndrome X, Diet, Risk, Risk Factors, Triglycerides, Waist Circumference, Prevalence, Glucose, Inventions, Adolescent, Secondary Prevention

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