Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasing in youths, but there is limited knowledge about the etiology of early-onset CVD. We aimed to examine the association between maternal education before childbirth and CVD risk in offspring during early adulthood (20-40 years old).
This population-based cohort study included 1123600 individuals born in Denmark during 1977-1996. Compared to offspring born to mothers with high education, offspring born to mothers with low or medium education had 27% (hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-1.30) or 12% (1.12; 1.09-1.15) increased overall risk of early-onset CVD, respectively. Increased risks were observed for most type-specific CVDs, in particular for myocardial infarction low [2.03; 1.55-2.65] or medium education [1.52; 1.16-1.99]), heart failure (low [1.59; 1.24-2.03] or medium education [1.51; 1.19-1.92]), and ischemic stroke (low [1.50; 1.28-1.76] or medium education [1.29; 1.10-1.51]). We observed high incidences of CVD in offspring of mothers with comorbid CVD (low [1.67; 1.51-1.86] or medium education [1.46; 1.29-1.64]), compared with those of mothers with high education and no CVD history.
Low maternal education before childbirth, especially with maternal comorbid CVD, is significantly associated with increased risk of overall CVD and most type-specific CVDs in offspring in early adulthood. The influence of maternal education on future offspring CVD should be taken into consideration in the assessment of CVD risks from early decades of life.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.