Greater early weight gain and shorter breastfeeding are associated with low adolescent adiponectin levels

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Early life factors can programme future risk for cardiovascular disease.


We explored associations between adolescent adiponectin levels and concomitant metabolic alteration and also looked at the association between early life factors and adolescent adiponectin levels.


We studied a longitudinal cohort of low-income to middle-income Chilean adolescents who were enroled in an infancy iron-deficiency anaemia preventive trial and follow-up studies at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile. In the 577 adolescents who were assessed as part of the 16-year follow-up, we evaluated independent associations between adiponectin levels and metabolic disturbances during adolescence. We also assessed the association between early life factors [short breastfeeding {<6 months} and infancy weight gain] and adolescent adiponectin levels.


Participants were 16.8 years old (16.4–18.1), 48% female and 38% overweight/obese. Adolescent adiponectin levels were inversely associated with metabolic disturbances: altered homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [odds ratios {95% confidence interval} = 0.87 {0.79–0.95}, p-value = 0.002, and 0.90 {0.87–0.94}, p-value < 0.001, respectively], adjusting for sex and fat mass index. Early life factors were independently associated with adolescent adiponectin levels, which decreased 0.88 ug mL−1 per each unit increase in weight-for-age z-score between 0 and 6 months and was 1.58 ug mL−1 lower among participants with short breastfeeding.


Higher adolescent adiponectin levels were independently associated with lower odds of metabolic disturbances. Greater weight gain during infancy and shorter breastfeeding were associated with lower adolescent adiponectin levels, supporting research indicating early life as a window of opportunity for prevention of later cardiovascular alterations. © 2017 World Obesity Federation

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