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Eur J Public Health. 2009 Jan;19(1):46-51. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn122. Epub 2008 Dec 6.

BMI, lipid profile, physical fitness and smoking habits of young male adults and the association with parental education.

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Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.



Few studies have focused on the potential relationship between parental educational level and cardiovascular risk factors among young male adults. The aim of this study was to investigate cardiovascular disease risk factors among young men and whether body mass index (BMI), serum lipids, physical fitness and smoking habits were related to paternal and maternal education.


In this cross-sectional study 750 18- to 26-year-old male recruits participated.


Linear regression analyses showed that the paternal education was inversely associated with BMI (P = 0.035) and the concentration of total cholesterol (P = 0.003) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (P = 0.014). Running performance was inversely related to cigarette smoking (P = 0.022) and the concentration of triacylglycerol (P = 0.001). BMI was positively related to the concentration of LDL (P = 0.002), total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio (P < 0.001) and inversely related to the concentration of HDL (P < 0.001), running performance (P < 0.001) and muscular strength (P = 0.011). Recruits with low BMI, both high and low fitness, had a significantly better lipid profile than recruits with high BMI and low fitness (P <or= 0.016). A lower concentration of triacylglycerol (P <or= 0.001) and a higher concentration of HDL (P = 0.034) were further shown among recruits with high BMI/high fit compared to recruits with high BMI/low fit.


High paternal educational level was associated with a lower BMI and a better lipid profile among young adult men. Furthermore, men with low BMI, both high and low fit, had a better lipid profile than those with high BMI/low fit. Men with high BMI/high fit had a better lipid profile that those with high BMI/low fit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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