Testing for Associations between Fetal Nutrition and Adolescent Blood Pressure Using Structural Equations Models

Darren L. Dahly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

INTRODUCTION: A large but controversial body of evidence suggests that birth weight is inversely associated with later blood pressure. This research is often cited as the best evidence that fetal nutrition can act as a determinant of cardio-vascular disease. METHODS: Using AMOS 5.0, I examined the relationship between fetal nutrition (modeled as a latent variable defined by several maternal characteristics) and systolic blood pressure, while adjusting for birth and current weight, in a cohort of Filipino adolescents (976 females, 1073 males) enrolled in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey. RESULTS: The latent fetal nutrition variable was inversely related to systolic blood pressure in males (standardized path coefficient -0.286, p<0.000) and females (-0.141, p<0.025). Overall fit to the observed data was excellent (chi^2 9.008, df 10, p=0.531; SRMSR 0.0099; RMSEA 0.000 p-close 1.00). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that fetal influences can act as determinants of adolescent blood pressure.

Presented in Poster Session 2