Article Title

Associations between aggressive behavior scores and cardiovascular risk factors in childhood


Objective: To examine the influence of aggressive behaviour scores on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors throughout childhood.

Methods: This study utilized cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study (n = 2900). Aggressive behaviour scores were derived from the Child Behavior Checklist/4–18(CBCL), Youth Self-Report/11–18 (YSR) and Teacher Report Form/6–18 (TRF). CVD riskfactors included body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, fasting lipids and homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

Results: Girls with higher aggressive behaviour scores had higher BMI from 10 years of age (P= 0.001),higher BMI trajectories throughout childhood (P = 0.0003) and at 14 years higher HOMA-IR (P = 0.008). At the 14-year survey, this equated to a difference of 1.7 kg/m2 in the predicted BMI between the extreme CBCL scores in girls (top 5% (CBCL>17) vs. CBCL score = 0). Boys with higher aggressive behaviour scores had higher BMI at 5 years (P = 0.002), lower diastolic pressure at 14 years (P = 0.002) and lower systolic blood pressure trajectories throughout childhood (P = 0.016).

Conclusion: Aggressive behaviour influences BMI from early childhood in girls but not boys. If this association is causal, childhood offers the opportunity for early behavioural intervention for obesity prevention.


Aggression, cardiovascular disease, Raine study, risk factors

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