the Cardiovascular Risk In Young Finns Study

The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS) is one of the largest follow-up studies into cardiovascular risk from childhood to adulthood. The first cross-sectional survey was conducted in 1980. After that, several follow-up studies have been conducted (1983, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2001, 2007 and 2011).

The main aim of the study is to determine the contribution made by childhood lifestyle, biological, and psychological measures to the risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. Further details can be found from the YFS website.

The study is coordinated by University of Turku, and there are six other research institutes involved in it;  University of Helsinki; University of Tampere; University of Kuopio; University of Oulu; University of Jyväskylä and LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health.
The role of LIKES in the YFS study is to determine how physical activity and psychological, social, and environmental factors related to physical activity during the ages of 9 to 18 predict physical activity levels and risk factors related to explanatory factors in adulthood.

Currently there are two on-going research projects based on YFS data:
Psychological, Socio-demographic and Health-related Correlates and Predictors of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior During the Life-course (Xiaolin Yang)
Lifelong physical activity and long-term labor market performance (Jaana Kari)

Yang Xiaolin

Senior researcher

Phone 040 030 7426



  • Yang, X., Telama, R., Hirvensalo, M., Hintsanen, M., Hintsa, T., Pulkki-Råback, L., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Viikari, J.S.A. & Raitakari, O.T. (2012). Moderating effects of leisure-time physical activity on the association between job strain and depressive symptoms. The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 54 (3), 303–309. [IF 3.02]
  • Yang, X., Telama, R., Hirvensalo, M., Hintsa, T., Pulkki-Råback, L., Hintsanen, M., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Viikari, J.S.A. & Raitakari, O.T. (2012). Leadership component of Type A behavior predicts physical activity in early midlife. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 19(1), 48–55. [IF 2.63]
  • Shiri, R., Solovieva, S., Husgafvel-Pursiainen, K., Te-lama, R., Yang, X., Viikari, J., Raitakari, O.T. & Viikari-Juntura, E. (2012). The role of obesity and physical activity in non-specific and radiating low back pain: The Young Finns study. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2012 Dec 25. [Epub ahead of print.] [IF 4.97]
  • Wessman, J., Schönauer, S., Miettunen, J., Turunen, H., Parviainen, P., Seppänen, J.K., Congdon, E., Service, S., Koiranen, M., Ekelund, J., Laitinen, J., Taanila, A., Tammelin, T., Hintsanen, M., Pulkki-Råback, L., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Viikari, J., Raitakari, O.T., Joukamaa, M., Järvelin, M.-R., Freimer, N., Peltonen, L., Veijola, J., Mannila, H. & Paunio, T. (2012). Temperament clusters in a normal population: implications for health and disease. PLoS One 7(7): e33088. [IF 4.09]
    Yang X, Telama R, Laakso L, Keltikangas-Järvinen L, Pulkki, L. (2007).
  • Determinants of adult physical activity: Relative importance of youth physical activity and demographic, psychological, behavioral, and environmental factors in adulthood. Acta Kinesiologiae. Universitatis Tartuensis 2007; 12: 129-146.
    Yang X, Telama R, Leskinen E, Mansikkaniemi K, Viikari J, Raitakari OT. 2006. Testing a model of physical activity and obesity tracking from youth to adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2007; 31: 521-527.
  • Yang X, Telama R, Viikari J, Raitakari OT. 2006. Risk of obesity in relation to physical activity tracking from youth to adulthood. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc 38: 919-25.
  • Telama R, Yang X, Hirvensalo M, Raitakari OT. 2006. Participation in organized youth sport as a predictor of adult physical activity: a 21-year longitudinal study. Ped Exerc Sci 17: 76-78.
    Telama R, Nupponen H, Yang X. 2005. Determinants and correlates of physical activity among young Finns. In: F. Carreiro do Costa, M. Cloes, M.G. Valeiro (eds.), The art and science of teaching in physical education and sport. Faculdade de Motricidade Humana. Portugal, pp. 279-294.
    Telama R, Yang X. 2003. School age physical activity as a predictor of physical activity in adulthood 21 years later. Revista Portuguese de Ciencias do Desporto, 3: 25.
    Yang X, Telama R, Laakso L, Viikari J. 2003. Children's and adolescents' physical activity in relation with living environment, parents' physical activity, age and gender. Acta Kinesiologiae Universitatis Tartuensis Vol. 8: 61-88.
    Telama, R. Rimpelä, M. Trends in physical activity and inactivity - in early adolescence: experiences from Finland 2001. Heart Matters, Quarterly Bulletin of the European Heart Network 1 (2001): 1 s. 3-6.
    Telama, R. & Yang, X. 2000. Decline of physical activity from youth to young adulthood in Finland. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 32(9), 1617-1622.
    Yang, X., Telama, R., & Leskinen, E. 2000. Testing a multidisciplinary model of socialization into physical activity: A 6-year follow-up study. European Journal of Physical Education 5(1), 67-87.
    Yang, X., Telama, R., Leino, M., & Viikari, J. 1999. Factors explaining the physical activity of young adults: the importance of early socialization. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 9, 120-127.
  • Telama R, Yang X. 1999. Physical activity from childhood to young adulthood; significance of early socialisation. In R. Sugman (ed.) Proceedings of International Scientific Meeting Sport - Health - Old Age. Bled, Slovenia, PP. 281-282.
    Yang, X., Telama, R., Räikkönen, K., & Keltikangas Järvinen, L. 1998. Type A behaviour as a determinant of participation in physical activity and sport among adolescents. European Physical Education Review 4 (1), 21-33.
  • Yang, X., Telama, R., & Leskinen, E. 1998. Testing a model of sport socialization for continuity of physical activity among young Finns. Journal of Sports Sciences 15(5), 399-400.
  • Yang, X. & Telama, R. 1998. Relationship between goal orientations of children and their parents in physical activity (abstracts). In A.J. Sargeant & H. Siddons (eds.), Proceedings of the third annual congress of the European College of Sport Science: From community health to elite sport, pp. 507. July 15-18, Manchester, England.
  • Yang, X. 1997. A multidisciplinary analysis of physical activity, sport participation and dropping out among young Finns. A 12-year follow-up study. Doctoral dissertation in sport pedagogy. University of Jyväskylä.
  • Telama, R., Yang, X., Laakso, L. & Viikari, J. 1997. Physical activity in childhood and adolescence as predictor of physical activity in young adulthood. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 13(4), 317-323.
  • Yang, X., Telama, R., Räikkönen, K., & Keltikangas-Järvinen, L. 1996. The relationship between psychological variables and competitive sport among adolescents. In R. Lidor, E. Eldar, & I. Harari (eds.), Proceedings of the windows to the future: Bridging the gaps between disciplines, curriculum and instruction, the 1995 AIESEP Congress, Part II: 541 549. June 26 30, Wingate Institute, Israel.
  • Yang, X., Telama, R., & Laakso, L. 1996. Parents' physical activity, socioeconomic status and education as predictors of physical activity and sport participation among children and youths. A 12 year follow up study. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 31(3), 267-283.
  • Yang, X., Telama, R., & Laakso, L. 1996. Parental influences on the competitive sports and physical activity of young Finns. A 9 year follow up study. In G. Doll Tepper, & W. D. Brettschneider (eds.), Physical education and sport: Changes and challenges. Meyer & Meyer Verlag: Aachen, pp. 511-526.
  • Telama, R., Leskinen, E., & Yang, X. 1996. Stability of habitual physical activity and sport participation: A longitudinal tracking study. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 6, 371-378.
  • Raitakari, O. T., Taimela, S., Porkka, K. V. K., Leino, M., Telama, R., Dahl, M. & Viikari, J. 1996. Patterns of intense physical activity among 15- to 30-year-old Finns. The cardiovascular risk in young Finns study. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 6(1), 36-39.
  • Laakso L, Telama R, Yang X. 1996. Youth sport in Finland. In P. De Knop, L.M. Engström, B. Skirstad & M.R. Weiss (Eds.), Worldwide trends in child and youth sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, pp. 126-138.
  • Raitakari, O.T., Porkka, K. V. K., Taimela, S., Telama, R., Räsänen, L., Viikari, J.S.A. 1994. Effects of persistent physical activity and inactivity on coronary risk factors in children and young adults. The cardiovascular risk in young Finns study. American Journal of Epidemiology 140(3): 195-205.
  • Telama, R., Laakso, L., & Yang, X. 1994. Physical activity and sport participation of young Finns. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 4(1): 65-74.
  • Telama R, Yang X. 1994. Children's sport participation as predictor of physical activity in young adulthood. Journal of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance (ICHPER*SD), vol. 30(2): 29.
  • Telama R, Yang X. 1993. Atividades desportivas da infancia a idade adulata: estabilidade desistencia e mudancas. Artus, Revista De Educacao Fisica e Desportos, 16:175-84.