Parental blood pressure is related to vascular properties of their 5-year-old offspring

A.M.V. Evelein, C.C. Geerts, M.L. Bots, C.K. van der Ent, D.E. Grobbee, C.S.P.M. Uiterwaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Adolescent offspring of hypertensive parents have increased carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) and arterial stiffness compared with offspring of normotensives. We assessed whether systolic blood pressure (SBP) of both parents is associated with the vasculature of their offspring as early as in childhood.

METHODS: In the first 306 5-year-old children of the Wheezing-Illnesses-Study-Leidsche-Rijn birth cohort, CIMT, distensibility, and elastic modulus (EM) were obtained ultrasonographically. In 204 of 306 (67%) children, complete data on both maternal and paternal SBP were obtained from the linked database of the Utrecht Health Project.

RESULTS: CIMT of the children was 0.58 µm (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.14, 1.0) greater with every 1-mm Hg higher maternal SBP. Maternal SBP and children's distensibility and EM were more strongly associated, negative and positive respectively, with increasing paternal SBP and vice versa (P value-for-interaction: 0.003 and 0.001, respectively). CIMT of children of whom both parents were in the highest SBP tertile was 17.9 µm (95% CI: 4.0, 31.9) greater compared with the CIMT of children of whom neither one of the parents had a SBP in the highest tertile. For EM and distensibility, these estimates were 20.1 kPa (95% CI: 1.1, 39.2) and -11.6 1/Mpa (95%-CI: -22.9, -0.31), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher maternal SBP is related to thicker arterial walls in their 5-year-old offspring. If both parents have higher SBP, the arterial wall of their offspring is thicker and stiffer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-913
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Adult
  • Arterial Pressure
  • Arteries
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Child, Preschool
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Vascular Stiffness
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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