Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

International Journal of Endocrinology




8727922 (1-10)


Background. Epidemiologic studies have reported associations of sibship size and position of the child in the sibship with multiple health outcomes, including adiposity and diabetes. However, little is known about sibling effects on lipids. Hence, this study sought to evaluate associations of the number of total, older, and younger siblings with lipid profile among adolescents. Methods. In a cross-sectional study among high school students aged 14 to 19 years, lipid levels were measured in capillary blood. Parents reported the number of siblings (total, older, and younger). Geometric means of lipids were calculated, and linear regression was used to estimate the ratio of geometric means (RoGM) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Analyses were sex stratified. Results. Of the total study sample (n = 1,584), 758 (47.9%) were boys and 826 (52.1%) were girls, with median age of 16.0 years. Total cholesterol (TC) was lower by 8% (adjusted-RoGM = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.88–0.96) among boys with ≥3 older siblings compared to those with no older siblings. Similarly, boys with ≥3 younger sibling compared to those with no younger siblings had reduced TC by 7% (adjusted-RoGM = 0.93, 0.87–0.99). Moreover, an increased number of total siblings (≥4 vs. 0/1: adjusted-RoGM = 0.80, 0.67–97) and older siblings (≥3 vs. 0: adjusted-RoGM = 0.90, 0.82–0.98) were associated with reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) among boys. Similarly, lower levels of triglycerides (TG) were seen among boys with ≥3 older siblings compared to those with no older siblings (adjusted-RoGM = 0.87, 0.78–0.96). A higher number of younger siblings was associated with increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) among boys (≥3 vs. 0: adjusted-RoGM = 1.08, 1.01–1.17). Sibship characteristics were not associated with lipids among girls. Conclusions. Increased number of total, older, and younger siblings were associated with favorable lipid profiles among adolescent boys, but not girls. Mechanisms underlying these associations need further investigations.


Copyright © 2022 The Authors.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Original Publication Citation

Ziyab, A. H., Almari, M., Mohammad, A., Al-Taiar, A., & Karmaus, W. (2022). Sex differences in the association of sibship size and position in sibship with lipid profile during adolescence: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2022, 1-10, Article 8727922.


0000-0001-7421-3381 (Al-Taiar)