Diet quality at age 5–6 and cardiovascular outcomes in preadolescents

JJ Anne Krijger, Mary Nicolaou, Anh N. Nguyen, Trudy Voortman, Barbara A. Hutten, Tanja GM Vrijkotte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Background & aims: Specific dietary components during childhood may affect risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Whether overall higher diet quality prevents children from adverse cardiovascular outcomes remains contradictive. We aimed to examine the associations between diet quality at age 5–6 years and cardiovascular outcomes after a 6-year follow-up. Methods: We used data from the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study, a multi-ethnic birth cohort. Dietary intake was assessed at age 5–6 using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and diet quality was ascertained with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and the child diet quality score (CDQS), an index specifically developed for Dutch school-age children. Cardiovascular outcomes were examined after 6-years follow-up (age 11–12, N = 869). Outcomes were body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), blood pressure (BP), lipid profile, fasting glucose and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Multivariable linear and logistic regression models adjusted for baseline value were used to examine associations between diet quality and cardiovascular outcomes. Results: Higher diet quality at age 5–6 was associated with lower BMI (DASH score: Δ quintile (Q) 5 and Q1: −0.35 kg/m2, p for trend = 0.016), lower WC (DASH score: Δ Q5 and Q1: −1.0 cm, p for trend = 0.028), lower systolic (DASH score: Δ Q5 and Q1: −2.7 mmHg, p for trend = 0.046) and diastolic BP (DASH score: Δ Q5 and Q1: −2.4, p for trend < 0.001) and with lower plasma triglycerides (DASH score: Δ Q5 and Q1: −0.20 mmol/L, p for trend = 0.032) after 6-years follow-up. Associations of the CDQS with these outcomes showed similar trends, but less pronounced. We found no statistically significant associations between diet quality and LDL-C, HDL-C, total cholesterol, fasting glucose or CIMT. Conclusions: Higher diet quality in childhood at age 5–6 years predicted better health on some cardiovascular outcomes in preadolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Early online date24 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development ( ZonMw ), The Dutch Heart Foundation and Sarphati Amsterdam .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


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