[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the association of physical activity (PA), cardiovascular fitness (CVF) and fatness with total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in European adolescents. The present study comprised 713 European adolescents aged 14.8±1.2 y (females 55.3%) from the multicenter HELENA cross-sectional study. PA was assessed through accelerometry, CVF by the 20-m shuttle run test, and body fat by skinfold thicknesses with the Slaughter equation. Plasma folate, cobalamin, and tHcy concentrations were measured. To examine the association of tHcy with PA, CVF, and fatness after controlling for a set of confounders including age, maturity, folate, cobalamin, creatinine, smoking, supplement use, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677 genotype (CC 47%, CT 43%, TT 10%), bivariate correlations followed by multiple regression models were performed. In the bivariate correlation analysis, tHcy concentrations were slightly negatively correlated (p<0.05) with CVF in females (measured both by stages: r=-0.118 and by VO2max: r=-0.102) and positively with body mass index (r=0.100). However, daily time spent with moderate and vigorous PA showed a weak positive association with tHcy in females (p<0.05). tHcy concentrations showed a tendency to decrease with increasing CVF and increase with increasing BMI in female European adolescents. However, tHcy concentrations were positively associated with moderate and vigorous PA in female European adolescents.
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 02/2015; 61(1):45-54. DOI:10.3177/jnsv.61.45 · 0.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is important to be able to evaluate vitamin status correctly at any age, but this is especially vital during adolescence since there are higher requirements for healthy growth and development. However, there are no currently available B-vitamin reference values for healthy adolescents. The aim of the present study is to assess the vitamin B status in European adolescents in order to contribute to the development of reference values for selected B-vitamins and total homocysteine (tHcy). Within the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) cross-sectional study, a sub sample of 1051 (499 males, 552 females) adolescents from ten European cities aged 12.5 to 17.49 were analyzed for fasting plasma folate (PF), red blood cell (RBC) folate, serum cobalamin (Cbl), holo-transcobalamin (Holo-TC), Vitamin B(6) (PLP), and tHcy. The level of significance was set at P < .05. Following the current cut-off for adults, 2% had low Cbl and 5% had low holo-TC concentrations. Low concentrations of both PF and RBC folate were identified in 10%. Five percent had PLP concentrations <20 nmol/L and 20% <30 nmol/L. Moreover, 5% had high tHcy; median values for the whole sample were: PF 16.0 nmol/L, RBC folate 721.9 nmol/L, Cbl 319 pmol/L, Holo-TC 57.8 pmol/L, and tHcy 6.7 μmol/L. Females had significantly higher median Cbl but lower PLP and tHcy concentrations (P < .01). THcy increased (P < .001) and PF (P < .001) concentrations decreased across age categories. Subjects showed significantly higher tHcy values at the fifth percentile of PF, corresponding with 7.5 nmol/L. Sex and age had an influence on most of the studied biomarkers and should be taken into account. The HELENA percentile distribution is consistent with data from smaller studies and could be used as reference value to characterize B-vitamin status of European adolescents.
Nutrition research 11/2012; 32(11):817-826. DOI:10.1016/j.nutres.2012.09.016 · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (PIA) virus infected large parts of the pediatric population with a wide clinical spectrum and an initially unknown complication rate. The aims of our study were to define clinical characteristics and outcome of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009-associated hospitalizations (PIAH) in children <18 years of age. All hospitalized cases of children <18 years of age with laboratory-confirmed pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in the region of Wuerzburg (Northern Bavaria, Germany) between July 2009 and March 2010 were identified. For these children a medical chart review was performed to determine their clinical characteristics and complications.
Between July 2009 and March 2010, 94 PIAH (62% males) occurred in children <18 years of age, with a median age of 7 years (IQR: 3-12 years). Underlying diseases and predisposing factors were documented in 40 (43%) children; obesity (n = 12, 30%), asthma (n = 10, 25%) and neurologic disorders (n = 8, 20%) were most frequently reported. Sixteen (17%) children received oxygen supplementation; three (3%) children required mechanical ventilation. Six (6%) children were admitted to an intensive care unit, four of them with underlying chronic diseases.
Most PIAH demonstrated a benign course of disease. However, six children (6%) needed treatment at an intensive care unit for severe complications.
BMC Research Notes 06/2012; 5(1):304. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-5-304
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An adequate nutritional status of antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C, E) and b-carotene is essential especially during childhood and adolescence, because of their important roles in cell growth and development. Currently, there are no physiological reference values for blood concentration of these vitamins and b-carotene in apparently healthy European adolescents. The aim of the current study was to obtain reliable and comparable data of antioxidant vitamins and b-carotene in a cross-sectional study, within HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence), which was conducted in a representative sample of adolescents from ten European cities.
From a subsample of 1,054 adolescents (males= 501) of the HELENA Cross Sectional Study with an age range of 12.5 to 17.49 years, fasting blood samples were taken and analyzed for vitamins A, E, C, and b-carotene status. As specific reference values for adolescents are missing, percentile distribution by age and sex is given.
Mean concentrations were the following: Retinol: 356.4 ± 107.9 cm/mL; alpha-tocopherol: 9.9 ± 2.1 microg/mL; vitamin C: 10.3 ± 3.3 mg/L; and b-carotene: 245.6 ± 169.6 cm/mL. Females showed higher alpha-tocopherol and vitamin C values compared with males and 17-year-old boys had higher retinol levels than the same-aged girls (p = 0.018). Retinol serum concentrations increased significantly according to age in both gender, but girls had also significantly increasing b-carotene levels by age.
For the first time, concentrations of antioxidant vitamins and pro-vitamin beta-carotene have been obtained in a representative sample of apparently healthy European adolescents. These data can contribute to the establishment of reference ranges in adolescents.
International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 07/2011; 81(4):245-55. DOI:10.1024/0300-9831/a000070 · 0.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests possible synergetic effects of multiple lifestyle behaviors on health risks like obesity and other health outcomes. A better insight in the clustering of those behaviors, could help to identify groups who are at risk in developing chronic diseases. This study examines the prevalence and clustering of physical activity, sedentary and dietary patterns among European adolescents and investigates if the identified clusters could be characterized by socio-demographic factors.
The study comprised a total of 2084 adolescents (45.6% male), from eight European cities participating in the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) study. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured using self-reported questionnaires and diet quality was assessed based on dietary recall. Based on the results of those three indices, cluster analyses were performed. To identify gender differences and associations with socio-demographic variables, chi-square tests were executed.
Five stable and meaningful clusters were found. Only 18% of the adolescents showed healthy and 21% unhealthy scores on all three included indices. Males were highly presented in the cluster with high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and low quality diets. The clusters with low levels of MVPA and high quality diets comprised more female adolescents. Adolescents with low educated parents had diets of lower quality and spent more time in sedentary activities. In addition, the clusters with high levels of MVPA comprised more adolescents of the younger age category.
In order to develop effective primary prevention strategies, it would be important to consider multiple health indices when identifying high risk groups.
BMC Public Health 05/2011; 11(1):328. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-328 · 2.26 Impact Factor