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Family history of non-communicable diseases and associations with weight and movement behaviours in Australian school-aged children: A prospective study

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posted on 03.11.2020, 00:00 authored by Katherine DowningKatherine Downing, Kylie HeskethKylie Hesketh, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, K Moss, G Mishra
Objective: To assess differences in weight status and movement behaviour guideline compliance among children aged 5–12 years with and without a family history of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Design: Prospective. Setting and participants: Women born between 1973 and 1978 were recruited to the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) via the database of the Health Insurance Commission (now Medicare; Australia’s universal health insurance scheme). In 2016–2017, women in that cohort were invited to participate in the Mothers and their Children’s Health Study and reported on their three youngest children (aged <13 years). Data from children aged 5–12 years (n=4416) were analysed. Measures: Mothers reported their children’s height and weight, used to calculate body mass index (kg/m2), physical activity, screen time and sleep. In the 2015 ALSWH Survey, women reported diagnoses and family history of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Logistic regression models determined differences between outcomes for children with and without a family history of NCDs. Results: Boys with a family history of type 2 diabetes had 30% (95% CI: 0.51%–0.97%) and 43% lower odds (95% CI: 0.37%–0.88%) of meeting the sleep and combined guidelines, respectively, and 40% higher odds (95% CI: 1.01%– 1.95%) of being overweight/obese. Girls with a family history of hypertension had 27% lower odds (95% CI: 0.57%–0.93%) of meeting the screen time guidelines. No associations were observed for family history of heart disease. Conclusions: Children who have a family history of type 2 diabetes and hypertension may be at risk of poorer health behaviours from a young age. Mothers with a diagnosis or a family history of these NCDs may need additional support to help their children develop healthy movement behaviours and maintain healthy weight.



BMJ Open





Article number



1 - 8




London, Eng.







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C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2020, The Authors