Physical activity through generations: Family linkage data from the HUNT Study
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The aim of this study was to investigate familial associations in leisure time physical activity. We used data form the HUNT study, where we included parents form HUNT1 (1984-1986) and their adult offspring form HUNT3 (2006-2008). The family relationship between parents and their offspring was found using their unique 11-digit personal identification number at Statistics Norway. The analysis consisted of 24 649 mother-offspring pairs, 20 965 father-offspring pairs, and we also constructed 17 692 trios including mother, father and offspring. We measured leisure time physical activity in three different perspectives. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratio (OR). All analysis were adjusted by possible confounders; parental age, body mass index (BMI), education level, and smoking habits. The results showed that offspring physical activity level was associated with parental physical activity level; offspring of parents who were highly physically active had lower OR of inactivity, than those of parents who were less active or inactive. We also found that offspring of parents who were physically active had a higher OR of being physically active themselves. These associations became stronger the more physically active the parents were. Finally, the results show that physical activity in either parent was associated with a reduced OR, partly irrespective of the other parent physical activity level. In conclusion, with this population-based family study, we found consistent associations between parents and their adult offspring for all three leisure time physical activity measures studied. Keywords: genetic epidemiology, familial relationship, adult offspring, public health, physical activity.