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Non-Clinical Medicine - Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology

Ethnic Differences in Cardiometabolic Risk Profile at Age 5–6 Years: The ABCD Study
Published: Monday, August 20, 2012
Author: Marieke L. A. de Hoog et al.

by Marieke L. A. de Hoog, Manon van Eijsden, Karien Stronks, Reinoud J. B. J. Gemke, Tanja G. M. Vrijkotte


To examine ethnic differences in cardiometabolic risk profile in early age, and explore whether such differences can be explained by differences in body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference (WC).


Anthropometric measurements, blood pressure and (in a subsample) fasting blood were collected during a health check of 2,509 children aged 5–6 years. Four ethnic groups were distinguished: Dutch (n?=?2,008; blood n?=?1,300), African descent (n?=?199; blood n?=?105), Turkish (n?=?108; blood n?=?57) and Moroccan (n?=?194; blood n?=?94). Ethnic differences in diastolic and systolic blood pressure (DBP/SBP), fasting glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride levels were determined and the explanatory role of BMI and WC was examined with regression analysis.


After adjustment for confounders, African descent children showed higher DBP (ß2.22 mmHg; 95%CI:1.09–3.36) and HDL levels (ß:0.09 mmol/l; 95%CI:0.03–0.16) compared to Dutch children (reference group). Turkish children showed higher SBP (ß:1.89 mmHg; 95%CI:0.25–3.54), DBP (ß:2.62 mmHg; 95%CI:1.11–4.13), glucose (ß:0.12 mmol/L; 95%CI:0.00–0.25) and triglyceride levels (ß:0.13 mmol/L; 95%CI:0.02–0.25). Higher BMI values were found in all non–Dutch groups (differences ranged from 0.53–1.03 kg/m2) and higher WC in Turkish (ß:1.68 cm; 95%CI:0.99–2.38) and Moroccan (ß:1.65 cm; 95%CI:1.11–2.19) children. BMI and WC partly explained the higher SBP/DBP and triglyceride levels in Turkish children.


Ethnic differences in cardiometabolic profile exist early in life and are partly explained by differences in BMI and WC. African children showed favourable HDL levels and Turkish children the most unfavourable overall profile, whereas their Moroccan peers have less increased cardiometabolic risk in spite of their high BMI and WC.