To determine the association between metabolic syndrome (MS) components in 620 children and their mothers.
Three public elementary schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A total of 620 students at a mean ± SD age of 9.00 ± 2.07 years and their mothers at a mean ± SD age of 37.69 ± 7.19 years.
Main Outcomes Measures
The association between MS in children and components of MS in their mothers, such as body mass index (BMI) (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, triglycerides concentration, glucose concentration, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, blood pressure, and age.
Ninety-five (15.3%) of the children were obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile), 108 (17.4%) were overweight (BMI ≥ 85th percentile and < 95th percentile), and 418 (67.3%) were a healthy weight (BMI < 85th percentile). One hundred twelve (18.1%) of the mothers were obese (BMI ≥ 30), 183 (29.5%) were overweight (BMI ≥ 25 and < 30), and 325 (52.4%) were a healthy weight (BMI < 25). Low concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (in 46.0% and 56.9% of mothers and children, respectively) and central obesity (in 36.0% and 25.0% of mothers and children, respectively) were common, whereas hypertension (in 10.5% and 1.9% of mothers and children, respectively) and impaired fasting glucose (in 2.9% and 0.3% of mothers and children, respectively) were infrequent. The prevalence of MS was 10.8% in children and 11.0% in mothers. Central obesity was less frequent in mothers of children without MS vs mothers of those with MS (41.2% vs 78.8%, respectively; P < .001). Mothers of children without MS had fewer MS components than did mothers of children with MS (BMI z score, 0.09 vs 0.69, respectively [P < .001]; waist circumference z score, 0.15 vs 0.87, respectively [P < .001]). Mothers' waist circumference was a significant independent predictor of their children's MS when adjusted for mothers' concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, and glucose and age (odds ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-3.26).
A mother's waist circumference predicts her child's MS, consistent with known familial associations of obesity and type 2 diabetes.