Parameters related to the risk of atherogenesis in adults were investigated in kindergarten children living in an industrial city. Height, weight and blood pressure were measured and capillary blood obtained. This study is a field test of methods for the analysis of 11 metabolic variables in capillary serum [glucose (GLUC), uric acid (UA), total, free and esterified cholesterol (TC, C, CE), triacylglycerols (TG), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylcholine (PC); β-, pre-β- and α-lipoprotiens (LPs)]. For lipid and LP analysis, new micro- and ultramicroprocedures were used, which have proved to be adequate for large-scale studies outside the clinic, including young children. Among 497 German children, a reference group, an overweight group and a socially underprivileged group were distinguished. In the reference group, several sub-groups with parameters lying in the tails of the concentration distributions were considered separately, thus providing specific metabolic patterns for these groups and, also, for any individual child. The children in the overweight group exhibited significantly reduced TC and β-LP levels. In socially underprivileged children with anthropometric data within the normal range, a reduction of several blood constituents was seen: GLUC, TG, TC, PC, pre-β- and α-LP; the PC: PE ratio was diminished. The β: α-LP ratio in these children was moderately increased. This effect was more pronounced in growth-retarded children, who also showed negative correlation of TG: α-LP. Since many of the same metabolic alterations can be observed in adult atherosclerosis, data obtained on our young children might be interpreted as early indicators of the disease, which should be identified as early in life as possible. During the last decade, the World Health Organization and several study groups have made appeals for the examination of children with regard to atherogenesis. Our results confirm that this is a highly desirable goal and our procedure appears both adequate and appropriate for this task.
- Atherosclerosis risk indicators
- Capillary blood
- Kindergarten children
- Lipids and lipoproteins
- New micromethods
- Reference values and metabolic patterns
- Socially underprivileged