Age at birth of first child and coronary heart disease risk factors at age 53 years in men and women: British birth cohort study

Hardy, R., Lawlor, D. A., Black, S., Mishra, G. D. and Kuh, D. (2009) Age at birth of first child and coronary heart disease risk factors at age 53 years in men and women: British birth cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63 2: 99-105. doi:10.1136/jech.2008.076943


Author Hardy, R.
Lawlor, D. A.
Black, S.
Mishra, G. D.
Kuh, D.
Title Age at birth of first child and coronary heart disease risk factors at age 53 years in men and women: British birth cohort study
Journal name Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0143-005X
1470-2738
Publication date 2009-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/jech.2008.076943
Volume 63
Issue 2
Start page 99
End page 105
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BMJ Group
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To assess the associations between parental age at birth of first child and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors in men and women. To investigate whether the associations are explained by childhood predictors of age at parenthood or adult lifestyle factors related to child rearing.
Methods: Data from 2540 men and women, with CHD risk factors measured at age 53 years, from a birth cohort study of individuals born in Britain in 1946 (Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development) and followed up regularly throughout life, were analysed.
Results: Younger age at birth of first child in both men and women was associated with poorer mean body mass index (BMI), waist–hip ratio, blood pressure (BP), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride and glycated haemoglobin levels. Mean BMI decreased from 28.0 kg/m2 (95% CI 27.2 to 28.8) in the teenage motherhood group to 26.8 kg/m2 (25.9 to 27.7) in the oldest motherhood group (≥30 years). For men, the equivalent mean values were 28.5 kg/m2 (27.3 to 29.8) and 27.1 kg/m2 (26.7 to 27.6). Associations with adiposity, lipid measures and glycated haemoglobin were largely explained by childhood antecedents and adult social and lifestyle variables. Associations with BP remained robust to adjustment: systolic blood pressure remained highest in teenage parents (7.5 mmHg (1.0 to 13.9) difference in women and 8.6 mmHg (0.4 to 16.8) difference in men between the youngest and the oldest parenthood groups).
Conclusions: Lifestyle factors, rather than the biological impact of pregnancy, explain the relationship between age at motherhood and CHD risk factors. Family-based lifestyle interventions targeted at young parents may improve their future CHD risk.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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