Early life growth and associations with lung function and bronchial hyperresponsiveness at 11-years of age

Ingvild Bruun Mikalsen, Thomas Halvorsen, Petur Benedikt Juliusson, Maria Magnus, Wenche Nystad, Trine Stensrud, Ketil Størdal, Maria Vollsæter, Knut Øymar
Respiratory Medicine 2021 January 8, 177: 106305
Low birthweight and being born small-for-gestational age (SGA) are linked to asthma and impaired lung function. Particularly, poor intrauterine growth followed by rapid catch-up growth during childhood may predispose for respiratory disease. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is an essential feature of asthma, but how foetal and early childhood growth are associated with BHR is less studied. Our hypothesis was that children born SGA or with accelerated early life growth have increased BHR and altered lung function at 11-years of age. We studied the associations between SGA and early childhood growth with lung function and BHR at 11-years of age in a subgroup of 468 children from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), and included data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN). Weight at 6 months of age was positively associated with forced vital capacity (adjusted Beta: 0.121; 95% Confidence interval: 0.023, 0.219) and negatively associated with the ratio of forced expiratory flow in first second/forced vital capacity (-0.204; -0.317, -0.091) at 11-years of age. Similar patterns were found for weight at 36 months and for change in weight from birth to 6 months of age. SGA or other various variables of early childhood growth were not associated with BHR at 11-years of age. Early life growth was associated with an obstructive lung function pattern, but not with BHR in 11-year old children. Foetal growth restriction or weight gain during early childhood do not seem to be important risk factors for subsequent BHR in children.

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