Moderately elevated body mass index is associated with metabolic variables and cardiovascular risk factors in Swedish children


Christel Larsson, Department of Food and Nutrition, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.
Tel: +46 90 7866483 |
Fax: +46 90 7869980 |


Aim:  To evaluate associations between anthropometrics and metabolic variables as well as cardiovascular risk factors among children.

Methods:  Subjects were recruited from a cohort of 274 healthy children in Umeå, Sweden. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure and venous blood samples were collected at age 10 years and simultaneously from parents.

Results:  Altogether 144 children (53%), 142 mothers and 123 fathers participated. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the children was 18 and 2%, respectively. Overweight children (above age- and sex-specific cut offs corresponding adult BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), compared to normal weight children, had significantly higher BMI already during infancy and higher S-insulin and Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA) index at 10 years. The children’s BMI was positively associated with waist (boys’ r = 0.67, girls’ r = 0.81), hip (r = 0.68), waist/hip ratio (girls’ r = 0.37), waist/height ratio (boys’ r = 0.59, girls’ r = 0.80), sagittal abdominal diameter (r = 0.75), S-insulin (r = 0.45), HOMA index (r = 0.49), systolic blood pressure (r = 0.24), mothers’ BMI (girls’ r = 0.42) and mothers’ waist (girls’ r = 0.42).

Conclusion:  Children at 10 years of age with moderately elevated BMI had higher levels of some metabolic variables and cardiovascular risk factors than did normal weight children, and there was a correlation between BMI and some metabolic variables as well as cardiovascular risk factors.