Parental Weight Status and Offspring Cardiovascular Disease Risks: a Cross-Sectional Study of Chinese Children
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Parental Weight Status and Offspring Cardiovascular Disease Risks: a Cross-Sectional Study of Chinese Children

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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Prevalence of childhood obesity in China is increasing, and parental weight is a risk factor for the development of obesity in children. We examined the relationship of parental body weight status with risk of offspring cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Chinese children.


    We conducted a cross-sectional study in Wuhan, China, during May and June 2010. Parental body mass index (BMI) was calculated according to self-reported height and weight. Offspring CVD risk factors, including BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and metabolic risk score (MRS), were assessed through anthropometric measures, blood samples, and a CRF test. Multiple linear regression and analysis of covariance were used to examine the effects of maternal and paternal weight status on offspring CVD risks.


    A total of 580 Chinese children (339 boys and 241 girls, mean [standard deviation] age, 9.6 [0.7] years) participated in the study. Maternal BMI was significantly associated with offspring elevated BMI (β = 0.134, P = .002), waist circumference (β = 0.253, P = .04), and decreased CRF (β = −0.134, P = .01). Paternal BMI was significantly associated with elevated offspring BMI (β = 0.161, P < .001), waist circumference (β = 0.404, P < .001), triglycerides (β = 0.017, P = .03), MRS (β = 0.084, P = .03), and decreased CRF (β = −0.174, P < .001). BMI (P < .001), waist circumference (P < .001), and MRS (P < .05) were positively associated with additional overweight/obese parents, whereas CRF was negatively associated (P < .001).


    Parental weight status was significantly associated with increased risk of CVD in their children, and the association was stronger for paternal weight status.

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