The ARYA study is one of the studies of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology research program aimed at determinants of cardiovascular risk early on in life. Based, among others, on the data from the ARYA study, we hope to get a better understanding of the emergence of vascular damage at an early age, which will also help draw a conclusion on the likelihood of severe vascular damage at a later age. Such insights may be of importance for the prevention of arteriosclerosis and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Despite recent advances in treatment, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still health problem number one in western societies. Aiming at specific prevention strategies for high-risk individuals and shifting the available prevention programs towards younger age groups might increase the success of primary prevention. However, before addressing age-specific prevention programs, more insight in the determinants of early vascular damage and increased cardiovascular risk is warranted as well as insight in determinants increased cardiovascular risk, including vascular damage, at an early age. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults (ARYA) study was specifically designed to address this issue.
The Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults (ARYA) study is one of the older cohort studies of the Center for Circulatory Health of the University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Its focus, early determinants of vascular risk, aligns with the Cardiovascular Epidemiology (CVE) research program of the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care
The ARYA study started off in 1999 with studies evaluating (1) whether it is possible to predict cardiovascular risk at young adulthood by routinely measured adolescent data, and (2) evaluating the role of birth characteristics and adolescent characteristics to the development of vascular damage at young adulthood.
Over the years several additional research questions have been addressed using the ARYA data. A number of publications and PhD dissertations has arisen from the ARYA study. ARYA contributed to international collaborations on for example normative data for carotid intima-media thickness and arterial stiffness measurements and the I3c consortium. Read more.
Design: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults (ARYA) study has a cross-sectional design.
Population: The ARYA study comprises of two cohorts of young adults. The Utrecht cohort includes 750 young adults, aged 27-30 years. The Hague-cohort includes 261 young adults born between 1963 and 1968. The Utrecht part of ARYA comprises a population based sample of 750 men and women, aged 27-30 years, of whom extensive information has already been collected on lifestyle (smoking, diet, alcohol consumption), medication, medical and family history. In addition, several vascular risk factors have been measured including height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure and lipids. Moreover, measurements of vascular function and status have been performed, including endothelial function (vascular reactivity), carotid intima-media thickness / plaques (CIMT) and aortic pulse wave velocity (arterial stiffness). Blood and urinary samples were collected and stored, including DNA. The latter has been worked-up and is currently used for genetic analyses. For each participant the Framingham risk score and SCORE risk has been estimated. Detailed information of the ARYA participants dealing with birth characteristics and early in life risk factor measurements has been collected and used.