Sustained lifestyle advice and cardiovascular risk factors in 687 biological child-parent pairs: the PEP Family Heart Study

Atherosclerosis. 2011 Dec;219(2):937-45. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.09.032. Epub 2011 Sep 24.


Objective: We examined whether associations between improved cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle changes persist over 1 year in a real life setting.

Methods: Out of 2690 invited healthy parents and their children, 986 accepted the invitation to participate and completed the 1-year rigorous observational study with general lifestyle advice. Body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, waist-to-hip circumference, skin fold thickness, blood pressure; fasting lipids and glucose, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco smoke exposition within biological families were assessed. SPSS was used to perform statistical analyses.

Results: After 1 year of sustained advice of healthy lifestyle, the majority of CVD risk factors had improved in parents and their children most beneficially in daughters. In sons and fathers, the prevalence of fasting hyperglycemia decreased from 22.6% to 6.7% respectively from 27.5% to 10.6%. In daughters, the prevalence of hypertension decreased from 21.8% to 10.6% and the lipid profile improved considerably. Daily fat consumption as percentage of kcal as percentage fat significantly (p < 0.05) decreased by 6% and the ratio polyunsaturated to saturated fat and consequently the P/S ratio increased by 11.7% in all participants. The age and gender adjusted changes in parents (using GEE) after 1 year were predictive in children for reduced energy intake (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.6-3.1), reduced fat consumption (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.4-2.6) and a higher P/S ratio (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.9-3.6). Daily leisure time physical inactivity of parents was associated with low HDL-C (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.0-4.0) in daughters. Tobacco smoke exposition decreased by 19.3% in all participants whereas alcohol intake in parents decreased by 15% after 1 year.

Conclusion: Intra-familial lifestyle behavior and cardiovascular risk factors improve after 1 year of sustained advice in schoolchildren and their parents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents* / psychology
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers