The study of cardiovascular risk in adolescents - ERICA: rationale, design and sample characteristics of a national survey examining cardiovascular risk factor profile in Brazilian adolescents
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Background: The Study of Cardiovascular Risk in Adolescents (Portuguese acronym, "ERICA") is a multicenter, school-based country-wide cross-sectional study funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, which aims at estimating the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, including those included in the definition of the metabolic syndrome, in a random sample of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years in Brazilian cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Approximately 85,000 students were assessed in public and private schools. Brazil is a continental country with a heterogeneous population of 190 million living in its five main geographic regions (North, Northeast, Midwest, South and Southeast). ERICA is a pioneering study that will assess the prevalence rates of cardiovascular risk factors in Brazilian adolescents using a sample with national and regional representativeness. This paper describes the rationale, design and procedures of ERICA.Methods/Design: Participants answered a self-administered questionnaire using an electronic device, in order to obtain information on demographic and lifestyle characteristics, including physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake, sleeping hours, common mental disorders and reproductive and oral health. Dietary intake was assessed using a 24-hour dietary recall. Anthropometric measures (weight, height and waist circumference) and blood pressure were also be measured. Blood was collected from a subsample of approximately 44,000 adolescents for measurements of fasting glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin.Discussion: The study findings will be instrumental to the development of public policies aiming at the prevention of obesity, atherosclerotic diseases and diabetes in an adolescent population.
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