Hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and hyperhomocysteinemia are associated with both adult cardiovascular disease (CVD) and having a child with a congenital heart disease (CHD). We investigated associations between CVD in grandparents and the risk of CHD in grandchildren. In a case-control family study, we obtained detailed questionnaire information on CVD and CHD in 247 families with a CHD child and 203 families without a CHD child. Grandparents with CVD or intermittent claudication (IC) were significantly associated with an increased risk for CHD in grandchildren [OR 1.39 (95% CI 1.03-1.89) and OR 2.77 (95% CI 1.02-7.56), respectively]. The risk of CHD grandchildren was particularly increased in paternal grandfathers with CVD [OR 1.85 (95% CI 1.01-3.37)]. Overall, having a grandparent with CVD increased the risk for CHD in the grandchild by 1.65 (95% CI 1.12-2.41). After adjustment for potential maternal confounders, this risk was 1.44 (95% CI 0.94-2.21). Having two or more grandparents with CVD was associated with an approximately threefold risk for CHD grandchildren [OR adjusted 2.72 (95% CI 1.08-6.89)]. Our data suggest that CVD and IC in grandparents are associated with an increased risk of having a CHD grandchild. These first findings may be explained by shared causality of derangements in metabolic pathways and are in line with the fetal origins of health and disease.

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doi.org/10.1017/S2040174414000026, hdl.handle.net/1765/62060
Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Wijnands, K.P.J, Obermann-Borst, S.A, Sijbrands, E.J.G, Wildhagen, M.F, Helbing, W.A, & Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. (2014). Cardiovascular diseases in grandparents and the risk of congenital heart diseases in grandchildren. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 5(2), 152–158. doi:10.1017/S2040174414000026