Birth Weight for Gestational Age, Anthropometric Measures, and Cardiovascular Disease Markers in Children

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Abstract

Objective

To examine the association of birth weight for gestational age with anthropometric measures and cardiometabolic markers in a population-based sample of Canadian children.

Study design

The study used data from 2016 children aged 6-12 years from the first 2 cycles of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, a population-based survey of Canadian residents. The main exposure was birth weight for gestational age (small [SGA], large [LGA], and appropriate for gestational age [AGA]). The outcomes were anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and laboratory cardiovascular disease markers. The association between the exposure and the outcomes was examined using multiple regression. Analyses were weighted to account for the complex sampling design and for nonresponse.

Results

SGA infants had lower and LGA infants had higher z scores for anthropometric measures compared with the AGA group but most differences were not statistically significant. There were no differences between the SGA or LGA infants and the AGA group in blood pressure or individual cardiometabolic markers but SGA infants were significantly less likely to have elevated levels of 3 or more components of the metabolic syndrome compared with their AGA peers.

Conclusions

Former SGA and LGA infants have lower (SGA) and higher (LGA) body mass index and waist circumference, respectively, than their AGA peers. The known long-term increased cardiovascular disease risk among SGA or LGA infants was not reflected in the blood pressure and laboratory measurements at age 6-12 years.

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