OBJECTIVE - Parental obesity is a risk factor for offspring obesity. It is unclear whether parental obesity also confers risk for obesity-associated conditions (e.g., a proinflammatory or prothrombotic state) in the absence of offspring obesity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We compared concentrations of multiple biomarkers representing distinct biological pathways (C-reactive protein [CRP], aldosterone, renin, B-type natriuretic peptide, NH(2)-terminal proatrial natriuretic peptide, fibrinogen, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) in nonobese Framingham Offspring Study participants with no parents (n = 665), one parent (n = 488), or two parents (n = 119) with obesity (BMI > or =30 kg/m(2)).
RESULTS - Nonobese offspring with both parents with obesity had higher CRP levels (median 2.16 mg/l) than offspring with one parent (1.58 mg/l) or no parents (1.35 mg/l) with obesity. After multivariable adjustment, a nonlinear relationship with parental obesity became evident: compared with those without parental obesity, CRP levels were higher in offspring with two obese parents (P = 0.04) but not in offspring with only one obese parent (P = 0.76). Renin levels were more linearly related to parental obesity status, being significantly higher in offspring with one parent (P = 0.04) or two parents (P = 0.09) with obesity (P = 0.02 for trend). The other systemic biomarkers did not vary according to parental obesity status (all P > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings suggest that offspring with a high risk of developing obesity have an altered biomarker profile, characterized by systemic inflammation and increased neurohormonal activity, even in the absence of obesity. This is consistent with the notion that parental obesity may confer an increased susceptibility to other adiposity-associated traits.