The risk of metabolic syndrome is associated between parents and offspring, but studies are inconsistent on differences by sex of parents and offspring. Our aim is to investigate to what extent metabolic syndrome present in fathers and mothers is associated with risk of metabolic syndrome in sons and daughters. Furthermore, we investigate to what extent these associations are explained by socioeconomic factors and health behaviours.


We used data from the LifeLines Cohort Study (N = 7239). Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the NCEP-ATPIII criteria. Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate associations of metabolic syndrome present in parents with the risk of metabolic syndrome in offspring. Analyses were sequentially adjusted for: age and sex; childhood factors (socioeconomic position and parental smoking); and adult factors (education, income, smoking, physical activity, alcohol intake, and dietary factors).

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