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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4311-4320;

The Association between Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Parental Educational Level in Portuguese Children

Sport and Exercise Applied Research Group, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV11 5FB, UK
Research Centre in Physical Activity Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education, University of Porto, Porto 4200-450, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 September 2012 / Revised: 19 November 2012 / Accepted: 20 November 2012 / Published: 27 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
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The aim of this study was to examine any differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in Portuguese children split by parental educational level. A cross-sectional school-based study was conducted in 2011 on 359 Portuguese children (202 girls and 157 boys) aged 10 to 17 years (mean age ± SD = 13.9 ± 1.98 years). Height and body mass were assessed to determine body mass index (BMI). Parental education level (PEL) was used as a surrogate for socioeconomic status (SES). Capillary blood sampling was used to determine: Total Cholesterol (TC), Triglycerides (TG), Fasting Glucos (GLUC), High and Low Density Lipoprotein (HDL/LDL). These measurements were combined with measures of systolic blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness as z-scores. CVD risk was constructed by summing the z-scores. Analysis of covariance, controlling for BMI, indicated that CVD risk was significantly different across PEL groups (p = 0.01), with CVD risk score being significantly lower in low (p = 0.04) and middle (p = 0.008) PEL groups, compared to high PEL. Moreover, the covariate, BMI was also significant (p = 0.0001, β = 0.023), evidencing a significant positive association between BMI and CVD risk, with higher BMI associated with greater CVD risk. In Portuguese children, significantly greater CVD risk was found for children of high PEL, while higher BMI was associated with greater CVD risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; metabolic syndrome; parental educational level obesity; metabolic syndrome; parental educational level

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Duncan, M.J.; Vale, S.; Santos, M.P.; Ribeiro, J.C.; Mota, J. The Association between Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Parental Educational Level in Portuguese Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 4311-4320.

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