Cardiovascular disease risk factors in 5-year-old urban South African children the birth to ten study

  • Krisela Steyn
  • Thea de Wet
  • Linda Richter
  • Noel Cameron
  • Naomi S Levitt
  • Christopher Morrell


Background. A birth cohort study, the Birth to Ten (BIT) study, commenced in the greater Johannesburg/Soweto metropole in South Africa in 1990. The overall BIT project collected antenatal, birth and early development information on these children as well as information that could help identify factors related to the emergence of risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in children.
Objective. To determine CVD risk profiles and their determinants in 5-year-old children living in an urban environment in South Africa.
Methods. Demographic and birth characteristics were collected on a sample of 964 5-year-olds whose parents agreed for blood samples to be taken from their children. The children's height and weight were measured using standardised procedures; blood pressure (BP) was measured with a Dinamap Vital Signs Monitor, and a nonfasting blood sample was drawn for lipid deterrninations. Wormation on exposure to tobacco smoke and additional health-related data were obtained by interview.
Results. No differences were found between the birth weight and gestational age of the 5-year-old CVD participants and the remainder of the children studied at birth. The systolic BP was significantly diHerent between ethnic groups, with the BP of the black children significantly higher than that of the Indian and white children, while the diastolic BP of


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135