INMA: «An INMA Study Investigates Cardiometabolic Patterns in Childhood»


Over the past decade, there has been a concerning increase in the prevalence of disorders such as obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia, all of which are key risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. These disorders tend to cluster and appear simultaneously in adults, significantly elevating the risk of type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.

During childhood, obesity has experienced a notable rise, with scientific evidence indicating that early obesity can persist into adulthood. Despite these observations, previous studies on the tendency of cardiometabolic factors to cluster in childhood have yielded diverse results.

The new study, conducted in the INMA cohort in Asturias, aimed to explore the simultaneous presence of multiple cardiometabolic risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia, at ages 4 and 8. A total of 332 children were examined through clinical assessments to evaluate their metabolic health, measuring waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood.

The results reveal that, at both 4 and 8 years old, the most common patterns are the absence of risk factors and the isolated presence of central obesity. At 8 years old, the isolated presence of hypertension is also observed. Although these are the most prevalent patterns, it was noted that central obesity tends to appear simultaneously with other risk factors at both ages, highlighting its relevance in the development of additional cardiometabolic conditions.

A significant finding is that almost all children without risk factors at 4 years old continued to be free of them at 8 years old, suggesting that maintaining good cardiometabolic health in childhood can have a protective effect over time. This study underscores the importance of addressing metabolic health from early ages to prevent cardiovascular risks in the future.

Reference: Fernández-Iglesias R, Fernández-Somoano A, Rodríguez-Dehli C, Venta-Obaya R, Riaño-Galán I, Tardón A. Cardiovascular risk factors and its patterns of change between 4 and 8 years of age in the INMA-Asturias cohort. PLoS One. 2023 Apr 12;18(4):e0283799.

Link to scientific article: