Effect of growth on cardiometabolic status at 4 y of age

Camila Corvalán, Ricardo Uauy, Aryeh D Stein, Juliana Kain, Reynaldo Martorell
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009, 90 (3): 547-55

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks are increasingly being diagnosed in children and track into adulthood. Growth is associated with CVD risk in adulthood; however, its contribution to CVD risks in children facing the obesity epidemic is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess relations between growth from age 0 to 4 y and CVD status at 4 y in 323 Chilean children with normal birth weight.

DESIGN: From health records we obtained weight and height every 6 mo from age 0 to 3 y and calculated body mass index (BMI; weight/height(2)). At age 4 y, we measured height, waist circumference, insulin, glucose, and plasma lipids; infant feeding information was provided by the mothers. Outcomes were metabolic score (waist-to-height ratio + glucose + insulin + triglycerides - HDL-cholesterol z scores/5), total cholesterol (TC):HDL cholesterol, and homeostasis model of assessment of insulin resistance.

RESULTS: At 4 y, the prevalence of obesity was 13%. Changes in BMI, particularly from 6 to 24 mo, predicted a higher metabolic score (standardized regression coefficient = 0.29; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.42) but were unrelated to homeostasis model of assessment of insulin resistance and TC:HDL cholesterol. Height changes were not associated with CVD risks at the age of 4 y. Mode of infant feeding was unrelated to CVD status at 4 y; however, in children who were exclusively breastfed at 4 mo, an increase in BMI from 0 to 6 mo was positively associated with TC:HDL cholesterol at 4 y (standardized regression coefficient = 0.24; 95% CI: -0.02, 0.50), whereas in children who were partially or nonbreastfed at 4 mo, it was negatively associated with TC:HDL cholesterol at 4 y (standardized regression coefficient = -0.30; 95% CI: -0.52, -0.08).

CONCLUSION: In children with normal birth weight and a high prevalence of obesity at 4 y, changes in BMI after 6 mo predicted a higher overall CVD risk at 4 y.

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