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Prev Med. 2013 Nov;57(5):494-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.029. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Cardiovascular risk profile of mothers of a Portuguese birth cohort: a survey 4 years after delivery.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public Health, University of Porto Medical School, Porto, Portugal; Institute of Public Health - University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:



The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of smoking, low fruit and vegetable intake, sedentariness, overweight/obesity, abdominal obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes mellitus in mothers of a Portuguese birth cohort, 4 years after delivery.


A birth cohort was assembled at public maternities of Porto (2005-2006). Children and mothers were reevaluated 4 years later. In this analysis, 5435 women were included. Socioeconomic characteristics, smoking, diet and exercise were self-reported. Anthropometrics and blood pressure were measured. A subgroup of 2483 randomly selected women provided a fasting venous blood sample for lipid and glucose measurements.


Overall, 25.3% women smoked, 71.5% consumed <5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, 81.3% were sedentary, 31.4% were overweight, 21.3% obese and 31.8% had abdominal obesity. The prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes mellitus was 8.7%, 18.5% and 0.9%, respectively. At least one risk factor from each of the 3 groups (adverse lifestyles, adiposity and cardiometabolic comorbidities) was observed in 17.4% of women. Except for smoking, all risk factors were associated with unemployment, lower education and lower income.


The high prevalence of unfavorable lifestyles and adiposity, and the aggregation of risk factors emphasize the adverse cardiovascular risk profile at a young age.


Cardiovascular diseases; Prevalence; Risk factors; Women's health

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