Household cardiovascular screening of high-risk families: a school-based study
Background A parental history of cardiovascular disease has a strong relationship with risk factor clusters in the off spring. This study was performed to identify major cardiovascular risk factors in middle school-aged children and their parents in both high and low-risk families. Design A school-based, cross-sectional study. Methods The middle schools of the 6th district of Tehran were divided randomly into two groups. A total of 169 high-risk children with their families were recruited from the first group and 105 low-risk children with their families were recruited from the second group of schools. Anthropometric and metabolic measurements were performed. Results The means of the waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were significantly higher in high-risk fathers. The means of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were significantly higher in both parents and children of the high-risk group. The means of the fasting plasma glucose were significantly higher in fathers and offspring of high-risk families. More fathers in high-risk families were smokers. The prevalence of increased total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and hyperglycemia (>= 100 mg/dl) were higher in high-risk parents and children. The prevalence of increased body mass index (>= 25 kg /m(2) for parents and 85th percentile for children) was higher in fathers and children of high-risk families. Conclusions Cardiovascular risk factors are more prevalent and clustered in high-risk families. The screening of high-risk families is essential to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis from childhood and reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.