The aims of the study were to compare atherosclerosis risk factors in obese, hypertensive and diabetic children with positive and negative family history (FH) of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to find which of the new atherosclerosis risk factors may be of clinical value in predicting future cardiovascular events. A total of 285 children and adolescents were divided into groups: obese, obese and hypertensive, hypertensive, and diabetic. Each group was further segregated into children with positive or negative FH of CVD. Positive FH groups were analysed according to FH of CVD before or after 55 years of age, and in parents and grandparents separately. We assessed lipids, body mass index (BMI) and new risk factors: lipoprotein(a) Lp(a), apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) and apolipoprotein B (apo B), homocysteine (Hcy), fibrinogen (FB), tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1). A positive FH of CVD was found in 28% of the children and in 8.7% it was premature CVD. Children with a positive FH had higher BMI (25.4 versus 23.7 kg/m(2), P<0.05) and highest BMIs were found in those with FH of CVD <55 years (26.8 kg/m(2), P<0.05) or in parents (27.4 kg/m(2), P<0.05). Lp(a) levels were higher in children with a positive FH (0.38 versus 0.28 g/l, P<0.05) and highest in children with a FH of premature CVD (0.44 g/l, P<0.05). Differences were also found in apo B levels (0.90 versus 0.84 g/l, P<0.05). In logistic regression analysis only BMI and Lp(a) were significant in predicting future cardiovascular events.
Conclusion: obese, hypertensive and diabetic children often originate from families with cardiovascular disease. Children with a family history of cardiovascular disease have a higher body mass index. Levels of lipoprotein(a) and apolipoprotein B may be predictive of future cardiovascular disease in predisposed children.