Infant weight growth velocity patterns and general and abdominal adiposity in school-age children. The Generation R Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this study was to examine the association of individually derived infant weight growth velocity patterns with general and abdominal adiposity measures in childhood.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

In a population-based prospective cohort study among 5126 children, we used repeated growth measurements between 0 and 3 years of age to derive peak weight velocity (PWV), age at adiposity peak (AGEAP) and body mass index at adiposity peak (BMIAP). At the median age of 6.0 years (95% range 5.7, 6.8), we estimated body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, android/gynoid fat mass ratio and pre-peritoneal abdominal fat area by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and abdominal ultrasound.

RESULTS:

Higher infant PWV and BMIAP were associated with higher childhood BMI, body fat percentage, android/gynoid fat mass ratio and pre-peritoneal abdominal fat area (all P-values < 0.05), with the strongest effect estimates for BMI (differences in BMI: 0.37 standard deviation (s.d.), 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34, 0.39 and 0.45 s.d. (95% CI: 0.43, 0.48) per 1-s.d. increase in infant PWV and BMIAP, respectively). Infant AGEAP in the highest tertile (>0.75 years) was associated with higher general and abdominal adiposity among girls at the age of 6 years (all P-values < 0.05). Similarly, a 1-s.d. higher infant PWV and BMIAP were associated with increased risks of childhood overweight (odds ratios (95% CI): 2.1 (1.9, 2.3) and 2.5 (2.2, 2.8), respectively). These associations were independent of gestational age and size at birth and tended to be stronger among girls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher infant PWV and BMIAP are associated with adverse general and abdominal fat distribution profiles and increased risks of overweight at school age. Whether infant growth patterns add to the prediction of later overweight should be further studied.

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