Parental education level is associated with clustering of metabolic risk factors in adolescents independently of cardiorespiratory fitness, adherence to the mediterranean diet, or pubertal stage
Few studies have reported associations between clustering metabolic risk factors and socioeconomic status (SES) in youth. This study aimed to analyze the association between clustering metabolic risk factors and SES in adolescents. It was hypothesized that SES is inversely related to clustering metabolic risk factors. This 2009 cross-sectional school-based study investigated 517 Portuguese adolescents ages 15–18 years. The study considered the age- and sex-adjusted z-scores for the ratio of total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein, homeostasis model, triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure, and a metabolic risk score was constructed by summing all the z-scores (≥1 standard deviation was considered high risk). Cardiorespiratory fitness was estimated by the 20 m shuttle-run test and dietary intake by a food frequency questionnaire. The best of parental education was used as a proxy measure of SES. The results showed that adolescents with low SES were more likely to have a high metabolic risk score (odds ratio [OR], 1.96; p < 0.020) regardless of cardiorespiratory fitness, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, or pubertal stage. In conclusion, a lower SES was associated with increased risk for a high metabolic risk score among Azorean adolescents after adjustment for pubertal stage, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Future health-promotion strategies among Azorean adolescents should consider the impact of SES on their health.