Cardiovascular risk assessment in children: Role of physical activity, family history and parental smoking on BMI and blood pressure

Marco Giussani, Laura Antolini, Paolo Brambilla, Massimo Pagani, Gianvincenzo Zuccotti, Maria G. Valsecchi, Daniela Lucini, Simonetta Genovesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Aim of the study was to assess the role of family history, physical activity and parental smoking in the prediction of BMI, SBP and hypertension risk in children. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: In a paediatric primary care setting, a sample of 1310 children aged 5-14 years was systematically selected by 48 family paediatricians in northern Italy. BMI, waist circumference-to-height ratio (WtHr), SBP and DBP were measured and the information on the presence of small birth weight for gestational age (SGA) and early adiposity rebound (EAR) was collected. Data concerning exercise, video time, family history for cardiovascular diseases and parental smoking were derived from parental interview. Data were collected using an 'ad hoc designed' electronic sheet available online. RESULTS: Multiple linear regression showed that the presence of EAR, low exercise (2 h/day TV/videogames/computer) and parental smoking were associated to higher BMI (z-score; P <0.005). Age, BMI (z-score), WtHr, presence of SGA, low exercise, high video time and family history of cardiovascular diseases were associated to SBP values (P <0.03). Logistic regression analysis showed that factors related to risk of hypertension and prehypertension were BMI (z-score; odds ratio, OR 2.63; 95% confidence interval, CI 2.12-3.28), WtHr (OR 1.13; 95% CI 1.10-3.28) and low exercise (OR 1.58; 95% CI 1.12-2.24; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-992
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • cardiovascular risk
  • children
  • family history
  • hypertension
  • parental smoking
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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