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Cardiometabolic health in adolescence and its association with educational outcomes
  1. Paulina Correa-Burrows1,
  2. Estela Blanco2,
  3. Sheila Gahagan2,
  4. Raquel Burrows1
  1. 1 Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Región Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile
  2. 2 Child Development and Community Health Division, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Raquel Burrows, Institute of Nutrition and Food Tecnology, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Santiago 7830490, Chile; rburrows{at}


Aim To explore the association of selected cardiometabolic biomarkers and metabolic syndrome (MetS) with educational outcomes in adolescents from Chile.

Methods Of 678 participants, 632 (52% males) met criteria for the study. At 16 years, waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure, triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein and glucose were measured. A continuous cardiometabolic risk score (zMetS) using indicators of obesity, lipids, glucose and blood pressure was computed, with lower values denoting a healthier cardiometabolic profile. MetS was diagnosed with the International Diabetes Federation/American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute joint criteria. Data on high school (HS) graduation, grade point average (GPA), college examination rates and college test scores were collected. Data were analysed controlling for sociodemographic, lifestyle and educational confounders.

Result zMetS, WC, TG and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance at 16 years were negatively and significantly associated with the odds of completing HS and taking college exams. Notably, for a one-unit increase in zMetS, we found 52% (OR: 0.48, 95% CI 0.227 to 0.98) and 39% (OR: 0.61, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.93) reduction in the odds of HS completion and taking college exams, respectively. The odds of HS completion and taking college exams in participants with MetS were 37% (95% CI 0.14 to 0.98) and 33% (95% CI 0.15 to 0.79) that of participants with no cardiometabolic risk factors. Compared with adolescents with no risk factors, those with MetS had lower GPA (515 vs 461 points; p=0.002; Cohen’s d=0.55). Adolescents having the MetS had significantly lower odds of passing the mathematics exam for college compared with peers with no cardiometabolic risk factors (OR: 0.49; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.95).

Conclusion In Chilean adolescents, cardiometabolic health was associated with educational outcomes.

  • adolescents cg
  • cognition
  • cardiovascular disease
  • health promotion

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  • Contributors Conceptualisation: PCB and RB. Methodology: PCB and RB. Formal analysis: PCB. Investigation: PCB, RB, SG. Data curation: PCB. Writing-original draft preparation: PCB. Writing-review and editing: EB, SG, RB. Supervision: RB. Project administration: EB. Funding acquisition: SG, RB, PCB.

  • Funding This research was carried out with financial support from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (USA), under grant HL088530 (PI: SG). PCB was sponsored by the Advanced Human Capital Program (grant code: PAI79140003), from the National Council for Scientific Research and Technology (CONICYT) (Chile).

  • Disclaimer The funders/sponsors had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, or final conclusions and recommendations.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval All procedures performed in the participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review boards of the University of Michigan, the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (University of Chile), the University of California San Diego, and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.