High Stress From Teenage Years to Adulthood May Up Cardiometabolic Risk

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Individuals with a consistently high adolescence-to-adulthood stress pattern have greater overall cardiometabolic risk

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Consistently high perceived stress from adolescence to adulthood is associated with increased cardiometabolic risk in adulthood, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Fangqi Guo, Ph.D., from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined how patterns of childhood-to-adulthood perceived stress predict adult cardiometabolic risk in a study involving 276 participants from the Southern California Children’s Health Study (2003 to 2014) with follow-up assessment (2018 to 2021). Perceived stress was initially reported by participants’ parents during early childhood (mean age, 6.3 years) and was self-reported during adolescence and young adulthood (13.3 and 23.6 years, respectively). Four stress patterns were identified: consistently high, decreasing, increasing, and consistently low.

The researchers found that a higher Perceived Stress Scale score in adulthood was associated with an increased overall cardiometabolic risk, carotid artery intima-media thickness, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure (β = 0.12, 0.01, 1.27, and 0.94, respectively). Greater overall cardiometabolic risk, android/gynoid ratio, and percent body fat were seen in adulthood for those with a consistently high adolescence-to-adulthood stress pattern compared with those with a consistently low Perceived Stress Scale score (β = 0.31, 0.07, and 2.59, respectively); the odds of obesity in adulthood were also increased.

“Our findings suggest that promoting healthy coping strategies for stress management early in life (e.g., adolescence) may facilitate the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases,” the authors write.

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