That precursors of adult coronary artery disease, hypertension, and type II diabetes begin in childhood have been clearly established by the Bogalusa Heart Study. This unique research program has been able to follow a biracial (black/white) population over 35 years from childhood through mid-adulthood to provide perspectives on the natural history of adult heart diseases. Not only do these observations describe trajectories of cardio-metabolic risk variables leading to these diseases but provide a rationale for the need to begin prevention beginning in childhood. The trajectories of the burden of cardio-metabolic risk variables in the context of their fetal origin and chromosome telomere dynamics provide some insight into the metabolic imprinting in utero and aging process. The observed racial contrasts on cardio-metabolic risk variables implicate various biologic pathways interacting with environment contributing to the high morbidity and mortality from related diseases in our population. To address the seriousness of the onset of cardiovascular disease in youth, approaches to primordial prevention are described focussing on childhood health education as an important aspect of Preventive Cardiology.

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