B3727 - Youth Vascular Consortium - 17/03/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Chloe Park | University College London (United Kingdom)
Dr Rachel Climie, Terence Fong
Title of project: 
Youth Vascular Consortium
Proposal summary: 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly one-third of all deaths, and poses a major economic burden to the global healthcare system. Thus, the prevention of CVD is a public health priority and identifying individuals at increased cardiovascular risk at an early stage is of paramount importance for minimising disease progression.

Vascular ageing, the decline in vascular structure and function, is an integrated marker of overall cardiovascular risk burden on the vasculature over time and ultimately leads to end organ damage in the heart, brain and kidney. While age-dependent arterial damage typically appears in the fifth or sixth decade of life, there is wide variability between individuals with some displaying early vascular ageing. Exposure to environmental and genetic factors as early as during childhood or even during foetal life promotes the development and accumulation of subclinical vascular changes that directs an individual towards a trajectory of early vascular ageing. This has led to the concept that vascular age, as opposed to chronological age, may be better related to the prognosis of CVD.

However, research concerning vascular ageing in early life and/or adolescents is sparse despite substantial evidence indicating that the formative years of life play a significant role in contributing to traditional risk factors exhibited in adulthood. It is unclear what is normal vascular ageing in this population and no large-scale study has determined what specific factors contribute to accelerated vascular ageing in early life.

By creating the Vascular Youth Consortium we will be able to address these unkonwns. The findings of which, will be instrumental to clinicians in preventing the development of overt CVD later in life.

Impact of research: 
There are several expected outcomes from this consortium including: • The establishment of a collated databank containing study data from collaborators worldwide. • The establishment of reference values for vascular ageing in children, adolescents and young adults. • The identification of risk factors that contribute to early vascular ageing in the younger population. • The development of a predictive index of early vascular ageing in children, adolescents and young adults, based on identified risk factors. • A head-to-head comparison between different techniques used to determine vascular ageing in children, adolescents and young adults. The results of the consortium will be instrumental to clinicians in preventing the development of overt CVD later in life.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 5 March, 2021
Physiology, Medical imaging, Ageing