In an era where the health landscape is increasingly plagued by lifestyle diseases, a recent study from Brazil has steered scientific attention towards the burgeoning threat of cardiometabolic risks among adolescents. The findings, emanating from a national-scale study, are set to revolutionize the approach towards early prevention strategies in young populations.

Published in the ‘Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases’ journal, this groundbreaking research unveils how innovative indices—viz., the visceral adiposity index (VAI) and the height-corrected lipid accumulation product (HLAP)—serve as potential harbingers of altered blood pressure (BP) and insulin resistance (IR), pivotal components of cardiometabolic peril. DOI for the study stands at 10.1016/j.numecd.2023.12.016.

The study, spearheaded by Ribanna Aparecida Marques Braga along with an erudite team comprising Ilana Nogueira Bezerra, Maria Dinara de Araújo Nogueira, Amanda de Moura Souza, Géssica de Souza Martins, Kaluce Gonçalves de Sousa Almondes, Luis Alberto Moreno, and Carla Soraya Costa Maia, delved into statistics from the Cardiovascular Risk in Adolescents (ERICA) study—a cross-sectional, multicenter, school-based survey meticulously conducted between 2013 and 2014.

The participant pool teemed with 37,815 adolescents aged 12-17, from a multitude of public and private schools stationed across 273 municipalities in Brazil. Unearthing the pervasiveness of altered BP and IR stood at a concerning 24.49% and 24.22%, respectively. The researchers employed Poisson regression and receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analyses to siphon the efficacy of VAI and HLAP indices in predicting cardiometabolic risks.

Key Findings and Implications

The spotlight of the study’s outcomes illuminated the efficacious role of VAI and HLAP in discerning cardiometabolic risk. The HLAP index, particularly, demonstrated superior prowess in flagging insulin resistance in the male segment of the adolescent group. These revelations are monumental, given the simple, routine, and cost-effective nature of the anthropometric and biochemical measurements that these indices necessitate.

The broader implications of this research are far-reaching, proposing a paradigm shift in how cardiometabolic risks are gauged in budding generations. With these indices in the diagnostic arsenal, clinicians can now foresee potential health adversities and stratify the young populace for imminent interventions.

The Vital Role of Schools in Health Interventions

The study accentuates the strategic role that schools can play in public health ventures, especially in surveilling and mitigating the risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Schools emerge not just as educational sanctuaries but as vital arenas for health screenings and prevention programs.

A Clarion Call for Actionable Policy

These findings not only beckon attention from the medical fraternity but also implore policymakers to funnel resources towards school health services. By framing policies that echo the necessity for regular health screenings in schools, nations can mount a robust defense against the surge of lifestyle diseases.


1. Braga, R. A. M., Bezerra, I. N., Nogueira, M. D. A., Souza, A. M., Martins, G. S., Almondes, K. G. S., Moreno, L. A., & Maia, C. S. C. (2023). Cardiometabolic risk assessment: A school-based study in Brazilian adolescent. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases.

2. Moreno, L. A., Pigeot, I., & Ahrens, W. (2011). Epidemiology of Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Prevalence and Etiology. Springer.

3. Daniels, S. R., Pratt, C. A., & Hayman, L. L. (2011). Reduction of risk for cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents. Circulation, 124(15), 1673-1686.

4. Magnussen, C. G., Koskinen, J., Chen, W., Thomson, R., Schmidt, M. D., Srinivasan, S. R., Kivimäki, M., Mattsson, N., Kähönen, M., Laitinen, T., Taittonen, L., Rönnemaa, T., Viikari, J. S., Berenson, G. S., Juonala, M., & Raitakari, O. T. (2010). Pediatric metabolic syndrome predicts adulthood metabolic syndrome, subclinical atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study and Bogalusa Heart Study. Diabetes Care, 33(8), 670-675.

5. Schwandt, P., Bertsch, T., & Haas, G. M. (2008). Anthropometric screening for silent cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents: The PEP Family Heart Study. Atherosclerosis, 199(2), 251-259.


1. Cardiometabolic risk assessment
2. Adolescent health study Brazil
3. Visceral adiposity index adolescents
4. Height-corrected lipid accumulation product
5. Insulin resistance blood pressure youth

This comprehensive study emerges as a beacon of scientific perseverance in the adolescent health domain, fostering a dialogue among healthcare professionals, researchers, and policymakers to fine-tune contemporary practices and safeguard future generations against the silent threat of cardiometabolic diseases.