Familial resemblance of body fat distribution: The Minneapolis Children's Blood Pressure Study

R. P. Donahue, R. J. Prineas, O. Gomez, C. P. Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Although many reports have shown that obesity (as defined by weight for height indices) tends to run in families, considerably fewer data are available concerning the familial resemblance of body fat distribution as defined by the waist to hip ratio (WHR), which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. This question was examined among 712 participants of the Minneapolis Children's Blood Pressure Study. For each family member separately (son, daughter, father and mother) the distribution of the WHR was divided into quintiles. Quintiles of WHR were cross-classified between child and parent to examine the proportion of subjects clustering in each quintile. A significantly higher than expected proportion of parent-child WHRs clustered in the top quintile. For example, 42.5% of sons were placed in the top quintile of their father's WHR (P<0.001) and 36.7% of daughters were placed in the top quintile of their mother's WHR (P<0.001). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that these findings were independent of parent and child body mass indices and other covariates. These results indicate significant familial aggregation of body fat distribution and may aid in suggesting specific primary preventive strategies targetted at appropriate families to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992


  • Children
  • Familial resemblance
  • Fat distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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