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Parental smoking and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in 10- to 12-year-old children

Burke, V., Gracey, M.P., Milligan, R.A.K., Thompson, C., Taggart, A.C. and Beilin, L.J. (1998) Parental smoking and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in 10- to 12-year-old children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 133 (2). pp. 206-213.

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Objective: Smokers have multiple adverse health-related behaviors and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. We examined whether health behaviors in parents who smoke may influence children’s health behaviors. Study design: Cross-sectional data from 10- to 12-year-olds (n = 800) entering a trial of health promotion programs. Results: Smoking in children was independently associated with maternal (odds ratio 2.1, confidence interval 1.2, 3.8) and paternal smoking (odds ratio 2.1, confidence interval 1.2, 3.7) and was less likely in girls (odds ratio 0.4, confidence interval 0.2, 0.6). Maternal smoking and paternal smoking were additive predictors in children of lower physical activity (P = .0013 for mothers; P = .0476 for fathers) and more television watching (P = .0335 for mothers; P = .0241 for fathers). Children’s fat intake was significantly greater if either parent smoked. Children’s body mass index (P = .0183) and waist-to-hip ratio (P = .0009) were significantly greater if mothers smoked. Conclusions: Poor health behaviors associated with smoking in parents, particularly mothers, are likely to influence children’s long-term risk of having lifestyle diseases. The results may also explain some of the apparent effects attributed to passive smoking in families.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 1998 Mosby, Inc.
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