Longitudinal Predictive Curves of Health Risk Factors for American Adolescent Girls


School of Data Science and Analytics

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PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to compare age-variant 18 health risk factors by constructing longitudinal predictive curves between African-American (AA) and Caucasian American (CA) adolescent girls. METHODS: A total of 2,379 girls (51% AA) from ages 9 to 10 were recruited in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. The various health indicators and dietary habits of these girls were assessed annually for 10 years. We model 2nd, 5th, 95th, and 98th percentile values of the health risk factors to compare trajectories between AA and CA adolescents by employing novel kernel smoothing regression and global tests of equality for regression curves. Health risk factors such as dietary fiber, intake of sodium, sugar, and total calories, systolic blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage, and high-density lipoprotein levels were compared. RESULTS: Trajectories of sugar, sodium, and total calories intake and systolic blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage, and high-density lipoprotein among AA girls were significantly higher than those of CA girls throughout their adolescence. CONCLUSIONS: AA girls exhibit several health risk factors that are significantly higher than those of CA adolescent girls at the 95th and 98th percentile. Interventions may be warranted for the purposes of ensuring access to health risk information as well as a greater ease of access to healthier food choices within the educational food system.

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The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine





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