Leena Taittonen

Vaasa Central Hospital, Vaasa, Province of Western Finland, Finland

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Publications (66)450.58 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background and aims. Fatty liver may have different determinants in normal-weight and in obese individuals. We measured factors associated with fatty liver in 863 normal-weight (BMI < 25) and 1135 overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 25) young and middle-aged adults (45% male, age 34-49 years) in the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Methods and results. The prevalence of fatty liver detected with ultrasound was 29% in overweight/obese and 5% in normal-weight participants. In overweight/obese, the independent correlates were waist circumference (odds ratio for 1 standard deviation increase = 3.78), alanine transaminase (2.11), BMI (2.00), male sex (1.74), triglycerides (1.44), systolic blood pressure (1.31), fasting insulin (1.23), and physical activity (0.76). In normal weight, the independent correlates included alanine transaminase (3.05), smoking (2.56), systolic blood pressure (1.54), and alcohol intake (1.41). In normal-weight participants, the associations with fatty liver were stronger for alcohol intake and smoking, and weaker for triglycerides, than in overweight/obese participants (P for interaction < 0.05). Conclusion. Prevalence of fatty liver was 29% in overweight/obese and 5% in normal-weight adults. Differences in factors associated with fatty liver were seen between these two groups: alcohol intake and smoking were more strongly and triglycerides more weakly associated in normal-weight than in overweight/obese participants.
    Journal of Hepatology 10/2014; · 9.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Cardiovascular risk factor levels in 2011 and 4-year changes between 2007 and 2011 were examined using data collected in follow-ups of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Methods: The study population comprised 2063 Finnish adults aged 34-49 years (45% male). Lipid and blood pressure levels, glucose and anthropometry were measured and life style risk factors examined with questionnaires. Results: Mean total cholesterol level in 2011 was 5.19 mmol/l, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol 3.27 mmol/l, high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol 1.33 mmol/l, and triglycerides 1.34 mmol/l. Using American Diabetes Association criteria, Type 2 diabetes (T2D) was observed in 4.1% and prediabetes (fasting glucose 5.6-6.9 mmol/l or glycated hemoglobin 5.7-6.4%) diagnosed for 33.8% of the participants. Significant changes (P < 0.05) between 2007 and 2011 included an increase in waist circumference (3.3%) in women. In both sexes, systolic (-3.0% in women, -4.0% in men) and diastolic (-3.0% in women, -3.3% in men) blood pressure and triglycerides (-3.4% in women, -6.5% in men) decreased during follow-up. CONCLUSIONS PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED FAVORABLE TRENDS IN LDL-CHOLESTEROL LEVELS HAVE LEVELED OFF AMONG A SAMPLE OF YOUNG AND MIDDLE-AGED ADULTS IN FINLAND TRIGLYCERIDE AND BLOOD PRESSURE LEVELS HAVE DECREASED OVER ONE-THIRD OF THE STUDY POPULATION HAD PREDIABETES AND MAY BE AT INCREASED RISK FOR T2D:
    Scandinavian journal of public health. 07/2014;
  • Heart Lung &amp Circulation 05/2014; · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Our objective was to assess cardiovascular risk and metabolic complications in adulthood in subjects with or without overweight and metabolic disturbances (i.e., elevated blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol) and their combinations as youth.METHODS Using data from the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study, we examined the utility of four age- and sex-specific youth phenotypes (group I: normal weight, no metabolic disturbances; group II: normal weight, one or more metabolic disturbances; group III: overweight/obese, no metabolic disturbances; group IV: overweight/obese, one or more metabolic disturbances) in predicting adult high carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study included 1,617 participants 9-24 years of age at baseline who were followed-up 21-25 years later.RESULTSIMT (mean ± SEM) was higher among participants in groups II (0.627 ± 0.005 mm, P = 0.05), III (0.647 ± 0.010 mm, P = 0.005), and IV (0.670 ± 0.010 mm, P < 0.0001) compared with group I (0.616 ± 0.003 mm). In addition, subjects in group IV had significantly higher IMT compared with those in group II (P = 0.002). Participants in groups II, III, and IV were at increased risk of the development of MetS in adulthood compared with those in the control group. For group II participants, the difference was attenuated after risk factor adjustments. Additionally, participants in group III and IV were at increased risk of the development of T2DM compared with those in groups I and II.CONCLUSIONS While metabolic risk factors associated with overweight increase future risk for MetS, T2DM, and increased IMT, overweight in isolation is also a risk factor. Therefore, overweight should be prevented and treated wherever possible.
    Diabetes care 04/2014; · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is some evidence that people born with high birth weight may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Details of the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We sought to determine whether people born large for gestational age have poor arterial health, increased adiposity, and a poor cardiovascular risk factor profile. Carotid intima-media thickness, brachial flow-mediated dilatation, and cardiovascular risk factors were compared between young adults (24-45 years) born at term who were large for gestational age (birth weight >90th percentile; n=171), and a control group with normal birth weight (50-75th percentile; n=525), in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Those born large for gestational age had higher body mass index throughout childhood, adolescence, and as young adults (26.4 kg/m(2) [SD 4.9], versus normal birth weight 25.1 kg/m(2) [SD 4.6]; P=0.002), and 2-fold greater risk of obesity. Other cardiovascular risk factors and arterial function did not differ; however, carotid intima-media thickness was increased in people born large for gestational age (0.60 mm [SD 0.09], versus normal birth weight 0.57 mm [SD 0.09]; P=0.003), independent of cardiovascular risk factors (P=0.001 after adjustment). Both obesity and high birth weight were independently associated with carotid intima-media thickness in a graded and additive fashion. Young adults born large for gestational age are more likely to be obese, yet have an otherwise healthy cardiovascular risk profile. Nonetheless, they have increased carotid intima-media thickness, a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, consistent with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 03/2014; · 6.34 Impact Factor
  • Heart Lung &amp Circulation 01/2014; · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the opinions of paediatric and obstetric personnel on the perinatal treatment and delivery outcome of infants from 22(+0) to 27(+6) weeks' gestation. An email questionnaire was sent to 2,963 professionals in 32 maternity hospitals in Finland. The questionnaire survey was completed by 856 (28%) professionals in 30 hospitals. Opinions on outcome were most pessimistic if the infant was very premature. More than a third (37%) assumed no survival at the earliest gestational age, but none dismissed the possibility at 26 weeks' gestation. Paediatric professionals took a more active approach to the treatment of a premature birth and baby than obstetric personnel. Opinions on treatment activity were based firstly on what was best for the baby and secondly on experience. Gynaecologists reported discussing matters regarding premature birth with the parents more often than paediatricians and were much more likely to be influenced by these discussions. Paediatric personnel showed a more positive attitude and a more active approach to extremely premature deliveries and babies than obstetric personnel. There would appear to be some inconsistency between prenatal counselling and treatment activity after birth at the limit of viability. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Acta Paediatrica 11/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Elevated blood pressure (BP) levels in childhood have been associated with subsequent atherosclerosis. However, it is uncertain whether this risk is attenuated in individuals who acquire normal BP by adulthood. The present study examined the effect of child and adult BP levels on carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT) in adulthood. METHODS AND RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 4,210 participants from four prospective studies (mean follow-up 23 years). Childhood elevated BP was defined according to the tables from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. In adulthood BP was classified as elevated for individuals with systolic BP ≥120mmHg, diastolic BP ≥80mmHg or with self-reported use of antihypertensive medications. cIMT was measured in the left common carotid artery. High IMT was defined as an IMT ≥age-, sex-, race-, and cohort-specific 90th percentile. Individuals with persistently elevated BP and individuals with normal childhood BP, but elevated adult BP had increased risk of high cIMT (RR[95%CI]) 1.82[1.47-2.38] and 1.57[1.22-2.02], respectively) when compared to individuals with normal child and adult BP. In contrast, individuals with elevated BP as children but not as adults did not have significantly increased risk (1.24[0.92-1.67]). In addition, these individuals had lower risk of increased cIMT (0.66[0.50-0.88]) when compared to those with persistently elevated BP. The results were consistent when controlling for age, sex, adiposity and when different BP definitions were applied. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with persistently elevated BP from childhood to adulthood had increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis. This risk was reduced if elevated BP during childhood resolved by adulthood.
    Circulation 06/2013; · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether the body mass index (BMI) of a child's mother is associated with an increased future risk of type 2 diabetes, independent of genetic risk or childhood metabolic, behavioral, and environmental factors. STUDY DESIGN: The analyses were based on the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study including 1835 individuals aged 3-18 years at baseline with data on maternal BMI, childhood metabolic factors, as well as 34 newly identified type 2 diabetes susceptibility alleles. These subjects were then followed-up over 21-27 years. RESULTS: Maternal BMI (OR for 1-SD increase 1.54 [95% CI 1.12-2.11], P = .008) and child's systolic blood pressure (1.54 [1.01-2.35], P = .04) were significantly associated with increased odds for later type 2 diabetes, in a multivariable analysis adjusted for age, sex, type 2 diabetes genetic risk score, childhood BMI, insulin, lipids, dietary factors, socioeconomic status, and mother's age, and history of type 2 diabetes. A risk prediction model, which included maternal BMI status outperformed one which utilized only child's BMI data (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.720 vs 0.623, P = .02). The inclusion of genetic risk score and other baseline risk variables did not additionally improve prediction (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.720 vs 0.745, P = .40). CONCLUSIONS: Maternal BMI is a useful variable in determining offspring risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
    The Journal of pediatrics 12/2012; · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Impaired fetal growth is independently associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events in adulthood. Prevention strategies that can be implemented during adulthood have not been identified. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine whether habitual omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid intake is associated with the rate of increase of carotid intima-media thickness during adulthood in individuals with impaired fetal growth. DESIGN: This was a population-based, prospective cohort study of 1573 adults in Finland. Carotid intima-media thickness was assessed in 2001 (at ages 24-39 y) and in 2007. Participants were categorized as having had impaired fetal growth (term birth with birth weight <10th percentile for sex or preterm birth with birth weight <25th percentile for gestational age and sex; n = 193) or normal fetal growth (all other participants; n = 1380). Omega-3 fatty acid intake was assessed by using a food-frequency questionnaire and on the basis of serum fatty acid concentrations. RESULTS: In multivariable models, the 6-y progression of carotid intima-media thickness was inversely associated with dietary omega-3 fatty acids in those with impaired fetal growth (P = 0.04). Similarly, serum omega-3 fatty acid concentrations were inversely associated with the 6-y progression of carotid intima-media thickness in those with impaired fetal growth (P = 0.04) but were not noted in those with normal fetal growth (P = 0.94 and P = 0.26, respectively). CONCLUSION: Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a slower rate of increase in carotid intima-media thickness in those with impaired fetal growth.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11/2012; · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of resolution from metabolic syndrome (MetS) between youth and adulthood on carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Published findings demonstrate that youth with MetS are at increased risk of cardio-metabolic outcomes in adulthood. It is not known whether this risk is attenuated in those who resolve their MetS status. Participants (n = 1,757) from 2 prospective cohort studies were examined as youth (when 9 to 18 years of age) and re-examined 14 to 27 years later. The presence of any 3 components (low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high triglycerides, high glucose, high blood pressure, or high body mass index) previously shown to predict adult outcomes defined youth MetS; the harmonized MetS criteria defined adulthood MetS. Participants were classified according to their MetS status at baseline and follow-up and examined for risk of high IMT and T2DM. Those with MetS in youth and adulthood were at 3.4 times the risk (95% confidence interval: 2.4 to 4.9) of high IMT and 12.2 times the risk (95% confidence interval: 6.3 to 23.9) of T2DM in adulthood compared with those that did not have MetS at either time-point, whereas those that had resolved their youth MetS status by adulthood showed similar risk to those that did not have MetS at either time-point (p > 0.20 for all comparisons). Although youth with MetS are at increased risk of adult high IMT and T2DM, these data indicate that the resolution of youth MetS by adulthood can go some way to normalize this risk to levels seen in those who have never had MetS.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 09/2012; 60(17):1631-9. · 14.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to study the associations of childhood lifestyle factors (the frequency of consumption of vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat, butter use on bread, and physical activity) with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adulthood. The study cohort consisted of 2,128 individuals, 3-18 years of age at the baseline, with a follow-up time of 27 years. We used the average of lifestyle factor measurements taken in 1980, 1983, and 1986 in the analyses. Childhood dietary factors and physical activity were assessed by self-reported questionnaires, and a harmonized definition of MetS was used as the adult outcome. Childhood vegetable consumption frequency was inversely associated with adult MetS (odds ratio [OR] 0.86 [95% CI 0.77-0.97], P = 0.02) in a multivariable analysis adjusted with age, sex, childhood metabolic risk factors (lipids, systolic blood pressure, insulin, BMI, and C-reactive protein), family history of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and socioeconomic status. The association remained even after adjustment for adulthood vegetable consumption. Associations with the other childhood lifestyle factors were not found. Of the individual components of MetS, decreased frequency of childhood vegetable consumption predicted high blood pressure (0.88 [0.80-0.98], P = 0.01) and a high triglyceride value (0.88 [0.79-0.99], P = 0.03) after adjustment for the above-mentioned risk factors. Childhood vegetable consumption frequency is inversely associated with MetS in adulthood. Our findings suggest that a higher intake of vegetables in childhood may have a protective effect on MetS in adulthood.
    Diabetes care 07/2012; 35(9):1937-43. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertension is a major modifiable cardiovascular risk factor. The present longitudinal study aimed to examine the best combination of childhood physical and environmental factors to predict adult hypertension and furthermore whether newly identified genetic variants for blood pressure increase the prediction of adult hypertension. The study cohort included 2625 individuals from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study who were followed up for 21 to 27 years since baseline (1980; age, 3-18 years). In addition to dietary factors and biomarkers related to blood pressure, we examined whether a genetic risk score based on 29 newly identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms enhances the prediction of adult hypertension. Hypertension in adulthood was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 130 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 85 mm Hg or medication for the condition. Independent childhood risk factors for adult hypertension included the individual's own blood pressure (P<0.0001), parental hypertension (P<0.0001), childhood overweight/obesity (P=0.005), low parental occupational status (P=0.003), and high genetic risk score (P<0.0001). Risk assessment based on childhood overweight/obesity status, parental hypertension, and parental occupational status was superior in predicting hypertension compared with the approach using only data on childhood blood pressure levels (C statistics, 0.718 versus 0.733; P=0.0007). Inclusion of both parental hypertension history and data on novel genetic variants for hypertension further improved the C statistics (0.742; P=0.015). Prediction of adult hypertension was enhanced by taking into account known physical and environmental childhood risk factors, family history of hypertension, and novel genetic variants. A multifactorial approach may be useful in identifying children at high risk for adult hypertension.
    Circulation 06/2012; 126(4):402-9. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUD: The role of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) single nucleotide polymorphisms has mostly been studied in relation to advanced atherosclerosis, but little is known how they contribute to preclinical disease. In the present study we analyzed whether COX-2 gene variants associate independently with the early subclinical markers of atherosclerosis, carotid intima-media thickness and carotid artery distensibility in a population of young healthy Caucasian adults. SNPs for association analysis were collected from the COX-2 gene and 5 kb up- and downstream of it. There were 19 SNPs available for analysis, four genotyped and fifteen imputed. Genotype data was available for 2442 individuals participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Genotype imputation was performed using MACH 1.0 and HapMap II CEU (release 22) samples as reference. Association analysis was performed using linear regression with an additive model. PLINK was used for true genotyped SNPs and ProbABEL for imputed genotype dosages. False discovery rate was used to take into account multiple testing bias. Two of the COX-2 variants (rs689470, rs689462) associated with distensibility (p = 0.005) under the linear regression additive model. After adjustment with gender, age, body mass index and smoking status, association between these SNPs and distensibility remained significant (p = 0.031). Subjects carrying the minor alleles had higher value of carotid artery distensibility compared to the major allele homozygotes. However, after correcting p-values for multiple testing bias using false discovery rate, association was lost. Another COX-2 variant rs4648261 associated with mean carotid intima-media thickness (p = 0.046) and maximal carotid intima-media thickness (p = 0.048) in the linear regression model. Subjects carrying the minor allele of rs4648261 had lower values of mean and maximal carotid intima-media thickness compared to subjects homozygote for major allele. After adjustments the associations were lost with both mean and maximal carotid intima-media thickness. Thus, no statistically significant associations of the studied COX-2 variants with carotid artery distensibility or carotid intima-media thickness were found. Our results suggest that in a Finnish population, there are no significant associations between COX-2 variants and early atherosclerotic changes in young adulthood.
    BMC Medical Genetics 05/2012; 13:32. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The American Heart Association (AHA) defined a new concept, cardiovascular health, and determined metrics needed to monitor it over time as part of its 2020 Impact Goal definition. Ideal cardiovascular health is defined by the presence of both ideal health behaviors and ideal health factors. The applicability of this concept to a cohort of children and its relationship with cardiometabolic outcomes in adulthood has not been reported. The sample comprised 856 participants aged 12 to 18 years (mean age 15.0 years) from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study cohort. Participants were followed up for 21 years since baseline (1986) and had data available concerning health factors and behaviors in childhood and cardiometabolic outcomes in adulthood (2007). The number of ideal cardiovascular health metrics present in childhood was associated with reduced risk of hypertension (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 0.66 [0.52-0.85], P<0.001), metabolic syndrome (0.66 [0.52-0.77], P<0.001), high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.66 [0.52-0.85], P=0.001), and high-risk carotid artery intima-media thickness (0.75 [0.60-0.94], P=0.01) in adulthood. All analyses were age and sex adjusted, and the results were not altered after additional adjustment with socioeconomic status. The number of ideal cardiovascular health metrics present in childhood predicts subsequent cardiometabolic health in adulthood. Our findings suggest that pursuit of ideal cardiovascular health in childhood is important to prevent cardiometabolic outcomes in adulthood.
    Circulation 03/2012; 125(16):1971-8. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to investigate the extent to which socioeconomic status (SES) in young adults is associated with cardiovascular risk factor levels and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and their changes over a 6-year follow-up period. The study population included 1813 subjects participating in the 21- and 27-year follow-ups of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (baseline age 24-39 years in 2001). At baseline, SES (indexed with education) was inversely associated with body mass index (P=0.0002), waist circumference (P<0.0001), glucose (P=0.01), and insulin (P=0.0009) concentrations; inversely associated with alcohol consumption (P=0.02) and cigarette smoking (P<0.0001); and directly associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (P=0.05) and physical activity (P=0.006). Higher SES was associated with a smaller 6-year increase in body mass index (P=0.001). Education level and IMT were not associated (P=0.58) at baseline, but an inverse association was observed at follow-up among men (P=0.004). This became nonsignificant after adjustment with conventional risk factors (P=0.11). In all subjects, higher education was associated with a smaller increase in IMT during the follow-up (P=0.002), and this association remained after adjustments for conventional risk factors (P=0.04). This study shows that high education in young adults is associated with favorable cardiovascular risk factor profile and 6-year change of risk factors. Most importantly, the progression of carotid atherosclerosis was slower among individuals with higher educational level.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 03/2012; 32(3):815-21. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Passive smoking has been associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity. The present study aimed to examine the long-term effects of childhood exposure to tobacco smoke on endothelium-dependent vasodilation in adults. The analyses were based on 2171 participants in the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns (N=2067) and Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (N=104) studies who had measures of conventional risk factors (lipids, blood pressure, adiposity, socioeconomic status) and self-reported parental smoking status when aged 3 to 18 years at baseline. They were re-examined 19 to 27 years later when aged 28 to 45 years. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation was measured at follow-up with ultrasound. In analyses adjusting for age, sex, and childhood risk factors, flow-mediated dilatation was reduced among participants who had parents that smoked in youth compared to those whose parents did not smoke (Young Finns: 9.2 ± 0.1% (mean ± SEM) versus 8.6 ± 0.1%, P=0.001; Childhood Determinants of Adult Health: 7.4 ± 0.6% versus 4.9 ± 0.9%, P=0.04). These effects remained after adjustment for adult risk factors including own smoking status (Young Finns, P=0.003; Childhood Determinants of Adult Health, P=0.03). Parental smoking in youth is associated with reduced flow-mediated dilatation in young adulthood measured over 20 years later. These findings suggest that passive exposure to cigarette smoke among children might cause irreversible impairment in endothelium-dependent vasodilation.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 02/2012; 32(4):1024-31. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in immunocompromised organ transplant patients. It has been linked with the pathogenesis of elevated arterial blood pressure. However, controversy exists as to whether CMV infection is associated with endothelial function, and little is known about its role as a potential risk factor for early atherosclerosis development at a young age. We aimed to discover if CMV antibody titres are associated with early vascular changes (carotid intima-media thickness, carotid artery distensibility and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation), blood pressure elevation or other traditional cardiovascular risk factors. CMV antibody titres were measured in 1074 women and 857 men (aged 24-39 years) taking part in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. CMV antibody titres were significantly higher in women compared to men. In men, high CMV antibody titres were associated directly with age (P < 0·001) and systolic (P = 0·053) and diastolic (P = 0·002) blood pressure elevation, and associated inversely with flow-mediated dilation (P = 0·014). In women, CMV antibody titres did not associate with any of the analysed parameters. In a multivariate regression model, which included traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, CMV antibody titres were independent determinants for systolic (P = 0·029) and diastolic (P = 0·004) blood pressure elevation and flow-mediated dilation (P = 0·014) in men. High CMV antibody titres are associated independently with blood pressure and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in young men. This association supports the hypothesis that common CMV infection and/or an immune response to CMV may lead to impaired vascular function at a young age.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 02/2012; 167(2):309-16. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified a large number of variants (SNPs) associating with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Recently, the CARDIoGRAM consortium published a GWAS based on the largest study population so far. They successfully replicated twelve already known associations and discovered thirteen new SNPs associating with CAD. We examined whether the genetic profiling of these variants improves prediction of subclinical atherosclerosis--i.e., carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid artery elasticity (CAE)--beyond classical risk factors. We genotyped 24 variants found in a population of European ancestry and measured CIMT and CAE in 2001 and 2007 from 2,081, and 2,015 subjects (aged 30-45 years in 2007) respectively, participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS). The Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS; n = 1179) was used as a replication cohort (mean age of 37.5). For additional replication, a sub-sample of 5 SNPs was genotyped for 1,291 individuals aged 46-76 years participating in the Health 2000 population survey. We tested the impact of genetic risk score (GRS(24SNP/CAD)) calculated as a weighted (by allelic odds ratios for CAD) sum of CAD risk alleles from the studied 24 variants on CIMT, CAE, the incidence of carotid atherosclerosis and the progression of CIMT and CAE during a 6-year follow-up. CIMT or CAE did not significantly associate with GRS(24SNP/CAD) before or after adjusting for classical CAD risk factors (p>0.05 for all) in YFS or in the BHS. CIMT and CAE associated with only one SNP each in the YFS. The findings were not replicated in the replication cohorts. In the meta-analysis CIMT or CAE did not associate with any of the SNPs. Genetic profiling, by using known CAD risk variants, should not improve risk stratification for subclinical atherosclerosis beyond conventional risk factors among healthy young adults.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e28931. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical relevance of a genetic predisposition to elevated blood pressure was quantified during the transition from childhood to adulthood in a population-based Finnish cohort (N=2357). Blood pressure was measured at baseline in 1980 (age 3-18 years) and in follow-ups in 1983, 1986, 2001, and 2007. Thirteen single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with blood pressure were genotyped, and 3 genetic risk scores associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressures and their combination were derived for all of the participants. Effects of the genetic risk score were 0.47 mm Hg for systolic and 0.53 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressures (both P<0.01). The combination genetic risk score was associated with diastolic blood pressure from age 9 years onward (β=0.68 mm Hg; P=0.015). Replications in 1194 participants of the Bogalusa Heart Study showed essentially similar results. The participants in the highest quintile of the combination genetic risk score had a 1.82-fold risk of hypertension in adulthood (P<0.0001) compared with the lowest quintile, independent of a family history of premature hypertension. These findings show that genetic variants are associated with preclinical blood pressure traits in childhood; individuals with several susceptibility alleles have, on average, a 0.5-mm Hg higher blood pressure, and this trajectory continues from childhood to adulthood.
    Hypertension 12/2011; 58(6):1079-85. · 6.87 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
450.58 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2014
    • Vaasa Central Hospital
      Vaasa, Province of Western Finland, Finland
  • 2010–2013
    • Turku University Hospital
      Turku, Province of Western Finland, Finland
    • Tampere University Hospital (TAUH)
      Tammerfors, Province of Western Finland, Finland
  • 2012
    • University of Tasmania
      Hobart Town, Tasmania, Australia
    • Imperial College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2003–2012
    • University of Turku
      • • Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine
      • • Department of Clinical Neurophysiology
      Turku, Western Finland, Finland
  • 2011
    • University of Sydney
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1996–2011
    • University of Oulu
      • Department of Paediatrics
      Uleoborg, Oulu, Finland
  • 2006–2010
    • University of Tampere
      • • Department of Clinical Physiology
      • • Medical School
      Tampere, Western Finland, Finland
    • University of Helsinki
      • Department of Psychology
      Helsinki, Province of Southern Finland, Finland
  • 2008
    • University College London
      • Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • Department of Pathology
      San Antonio, TX, United States