Cardiovascular disease risk factors in Hispanic children identified through a diabetic proband

Ruth Bernice Jiles, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Prevalence and mortality rates for non-insulin dependent (Type II) diabetes mellitus are two to five times greater in the Mexican-American population than in the general U.S. population. Diabetes has been associated with risk factors which increases the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis. Relatives of noninsulin dependent diabetic probands are at increased risk of developing diabetes; and offspring of diabetic parents are at greater risk. Elevation in risk factor levels clearly began to develop prior to adulthood. Therefore an excess of these risk factors are expected among offspring and relatives of diabetics. The purposes of this study were to describe levels of risk factors within a group of Mexican American children who were identified through a diabetic proband, and to determine if there was a relationship between risk factor levels and heritability. Data from three hundred and seventy-six children and adolescents between the ages of 7 and 13 years, inclusively, were analyzed. These children were identified through a diabetic proband who participated in the Diabetes Alert Study. This study group was compared to a representative sample of Mexican American children, who participated in the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. For females, there were statistically significant associations between upper body fat distribution and increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure after adjusting for age and measures of fatness. Body mass index was positively related to and explained a significant portion of the variability in systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and HDL-cholesterol, for males only. No relationship was found between degree of relationship to the diabetic proband and risk factor levels. The most likely explanations for this were insufficient sample size to detect differences, and/or incomplete ascertainment of pedigree information. Although there was evidence that these Mexican American children are fatter and have more central fat distribution than non-Hispanic children, there is no evidence of increased risk for diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease at these ages.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Jiles, Ruth Bernice, "Cardiovascular disease risk factors in Hispanic children identified through a diabetic proband" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9109977.