Persistent High Non-High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Early Childhood: A Latent Class Growth Model Analysis

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine patterns of non–high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in early childhood and identify factors associated with persistent high non-HDL cholesterol in healthy urban children.

Study design

We identified all children enrolled in a primary care practice-based research network called TARGet Kids! (The Applied Research Group for Kids) with ≥3 laboratory measurements of non-HDL cholesterol. Latent class growth model analysis was performed to identify distinct trajectory groups for non-HDL cholesterol. Trajectory groups were then categorized into “normal” vs “persistent-high” non-HDL cholesterol based on guideline cut-off values and logistic regression was completed to examine the association between trajectory group and the presence of anthropometric and cardiometabolic risk factors.

Results

A total of 608 children met inclusion criteria for the trajectory analysis (median age at enrolment = 18.3, IQR = 27.9 months). Four trajectory groups were identified with 2 groups (n = 451) categorized as normal non-HDL cholesterol and 2 groups (n = 157) as persistent high non-HDL cholesterol. Family history of high cholesterol (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.27–3.28) was associated significantly with persistent high non-HDL cholesterol, whereas East/Southeast Asian vs European ethnicity (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.14–0.78), longer breastfeeding duration (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93–1.00), and greater birth weight (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.48–1.00) were associated with lower odds of persistent high non-HDL cholesterol.

Conclusions

Patterns of non-HDL cholesterol are identified during early childhood, and family history of high cholesterol was associated most strongly with persistent high non-HDL cholesterol. Future research should inform the development of a clinical prediction tool for lipids in early childhood to identify children who may benefit from interventions to promote cardiovascular health.

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