Parental Prepuberty Overweight and Offspring Lung Function

Marianne Lønnebotn*, Lucia Calciano, Ane Johannessen, Deborah L. Jarvis, Michael J. Abramson, Bryndís Benediktsdóttir, Lennart Bråbäck, Karl A. Franklin, Raúl Godoy, Mathias Holm, Christer Janson, Nils O. Jõgi, Jorunn Kirkeleit, Andrei Malinovschi, Antonio Pereira-Vega, Vivi Schlünssen, Shyamali C. Dharmage, Simone Accordini, Francisco Gómez Real, Cecilie Svanes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In a recent study we found that fathers’ but not mothers’ onset of overweight in puberty was associated with asthma in adult offspring. The potential impact on offspring’s adult lung function, a key marker of general and respiratory health, has not been studied. We investigated the potential causal effects of parents’ overweight on adult offspring’s lung function within the paternal and maternal lines. We included 929 offspring (aged 18–54, 54% daughters) of 308 fathers and 388 mothers (aged 40–66). Counterfactual-based multi-group mediation analyses by offspring’s sex (potential moderator) were used, with offspring’s prepubertal overweight and/or adult height as potential mediators. Unknown confounding was addressed by simulation analyses. Fathers’ overweight before puberty had a negative indirect effect, mediated through sons’ height, on sons’ forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1 ) (beta (95% CI): −144 (−272, −23) mL) and forced vital capacity (FVC) (beta (95% CI): −210 (−380, −34) mL), and a negative direct effect on sons’ FVC (beta (95% CI): −262 (−501, −9) mL); statistically significant effects on FEV1 /FVC were not observed. Mothers’ overweight before puberty had neither direct nor indirect effects on offspring’s lung function. Fathers’ overweight starting before puberty appears to cause lower FEV1 and FVC in their future sons. The effects were partly mediated through sons’ adult height but not through sons’ prepubertal overweight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1506
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • causal inference
  • counterfactual-based mediation analysis
  • father/paternal/male/men
  • intergenerational
  • lung function
  • nutrition
  • overweight
  • prepuberty


Dive into the research topics of 'Parental Prepuberty Overweight and Offspring Lung Function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this