A total of 1732 offspring cohort participants were included in this study with a mean age of 42 years, and half were women. Nearly one-tenth had a history of early-onset parental obesity (n=193), and 27% had a history of later-onset parental obesity (n=460); study participant characteristics are presented in . Offspring in the early-onset parental obesity were younger, had higher BMI, higher serum triglyceride and serum ALT, and lower serum HDL levels as compared to offspring without parental obesity, whereas few differences existed for later-onset obesity as compared to no parental obesity.
Characteristics of offspring participants by parental obesity status based upon at least one obese parent.
In offspring with early-onset parental obesity, 41% had paternal obesity, 64% had maternal obesity, and 6% had both. In offspring with later-onset parental obesity, 46% had paternal obesity, 69% had maternal obesity, and 0% had both maternal and paternal obesity. The Pearson correlation coefficient between maternal BMI and paternal BMI was 0.35.
Serum ALT and AST Levels By Parental History of Obesity
Age-sex adjusted log ALT levels were higher among participants with at least one early-onset obese parent () as compared to those without parental obesity (3.21 ± 0.04 vs. 3.08 ± 0.02, p-value = 0.001). Age-sex adjusted log ALT levels remained statistically significant when participants with early-onset maternal or paternal obesity were compared to those without paternal or maternal obesity. The multivariable adjusted log ALT levels were significantly higher only among participants with paternal obesity as compared to those without paternal obesity (3.21 ± 0.06 vs. 3.08 ± 0.01, p-value = 0.02). Similar comparison with respective referent groups for maternal and at least one parent obese models did not achieve statistical significance. No significant differences were observed in any of the models when participants with later-onset obesity were compared to those without parental obesity. No significant differences in AST levels in any of the models in the three exposure categories were observed.
Log transformed ALT and AST values by parental history of obesity.
Age-sex adjusted odds ratio (OR) of elevated serum ALT was higher in offspring with both paternal early-onset obesity as compared to no paternal obesity (; OR 2.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29–3.24, p-value = 0.005), and early-onset obesity in at least one parent compared to no parental obesity (OR 1.52 (95% CI 1.13–2.06, p-value=0.006). However, statistical significance was not observed in models examining maternal early-onset obesity as compared to no maternal obesity (OR 1.33 (95% CI 0.95–1.85, p-value=0.09). In multivariable models, participants with paternal early-onset obesity had higher serum ALT levels (; OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.06–2.89, p-value=0.03) relative to those without paternal obesity. Early-onset paternal obesity was associated with ALT elevation independent of maternal obesity in multivariable-adjusted models (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.02–2.69, p-value=0.03). Those with a history of maternal obesity or at least one obese parent did not have elevated ALT levels OR 1.10 (95% CI 0.76–1.59; p=0.61), and 1.25 (95% CI 0.90–1.74; p=0.18), respectively, when compared to offspring without maternal obesity or those without either parent with obesity, respectively. There were no significant differences in the odds of elevated ALT levels in participants with later-onset parental obesity when compared to offspring without parental obesity (). The odds of elevated serum AST levels in the offspring did not differ in the exposure groups (early-onset parental obesity and later-onset parental obesity), when compared to the offspring without parental obesity.
Odds ratio of elevated ALT and AST levels with or without adjustment grouped by parental obesity status.
After excluding obese offspring, the overall findings were essentially unchanged, although in these secondary analyses the multivariable-adjusted odds ratios were somewhat strengthened for the association between paternal early-onset obesity and ALT (Online Supplemental Table). Among individuals without excess alcohol consumption or abuse, the results were not substantially different (data not shown).