Relationships among black families' cardiovascular disease risk factors

Patricia J. Bush, Ronald J. Iannotti, Alan E. Zuckerman, Robert W. O'Brien, Selina A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background. As participants in the District of Columbia Studies of Children's Activity and Nutrition (D.C. SCAN), 262 black mothers and two of each mother's children (3-4 and 8-10 years of age) were measured in their homes for selected cardiovascular disease risk factors: serum total cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, height and weight for body mass index, fitness (sum of pulses), activity, and triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Results. For each measure, mothers in the highest quartile were more likely to have children who were also in the highest quartile, and mothers in the lowest quartile were more likely to have children who were in the lowest quartile. For the physiological measures, (with the exception of systolic blood pressure), correlations tended to be stronger between the siblings than between the younger child and the mother, and older siblings' physiological measures contributed to the prediction of younger siblings' physiological measures after controlling for mothers' physiological measures. Relationships between family cardiovascular disease risk factor history and children's serum total cholesterol, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure on the mother's side were more likely to be related to levels among the female but not the male children and vice versa. When personal characteristics were controlled for, the family's cardiovascular disease history was related more strongly to the younger than to the older sibling's systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. Conclusions. Results tend to substantiate the importance of screening and counseling other family members, especially a child of the same gender as the parent with a cardiovascular disease or an elevated risk factor level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-461
Number of pages15
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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