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January 27, 2012 at 11:49 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Children's Health May Predict Parental Health Issues

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the A New Itch Blog Series

Most of us grow up thinking there is a possibility that whatever health issues mom and dad have could get passed down to us. New research shows that, while hereditary disease still exists, a child's health may help predict the development of heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes in parents.

The research states that screening kids may have an extra layer of icing on an already safe cake, spotting parents that may be at-risk.

"Pediatric risk factors - cholesterol, triglycerides, high blood pressure - identified families where parents were at increased risk," said Dr. Charles J.Glueck of Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati, one of the researchers on the study.

The Study

In the study, the children were originally tested at the age of 12, then, 26 years later, they were brought back in with their parents to see what may have developed over that time. Long story short, parents were about twice as likely to suffer early heart disease or stroke when their child had high blood pressure at age 12. The chances of cardiovascular problems were also increased if the child had a high level of LDL cholesterol. Last, but certainly not least, the higher the weight of the child, the higher the risk factor for diabetes in the parents.

The test showed that testing the children at a young age could possibly prove to be an effective way of predicting disease in their parents, as well as being an accurate predictor for the same disease in the children by the time they reach 30 years of age.

A Pattern Emerges...

Last week we discussed another study that pointed out some seemingly simple points, not sleeping is bad for you. I feel as though this study is also a bit on the "duh" side. It would seem to follow that a parent and a child would be intricately linked in the areas that are being tested because their environments are the same. When a parent has high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes, there are many factors that contribute to these: eating habits, exercise, smoking, etc. All of these factors are environmental and, unless the child is preparing their own meals and driving themselves to be much, much different than the parents in the exercise department, all while avoiding the effects of secondhand smoke, the parents and the child will experience the same exact reactions to this type of environment.

To me, a study like this doesn't provide enough evidence for me to condone poking and prodding a child just to figure out whether or not the parent is at risk for any type of disorder.

See you next week...


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