Higher weight and weight gain after 4 years of age rather than weight at birth are associated with adiposity, markers of glucose metabolism, and blood pressure in 5-year-old Ethiopian children

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Rasmus Wibæk Christensen, Tsinuel Girma, Bitiya Admassu Wossen, Mubarek Abera Mengistie, Alemseged Abdissa, Zeleke Geto, Pernille Kæstel, Dorte Vistisen, Marit Eika Jørgensen, Jonathan C K Wells, Kim F. Michaelsen, Henrik Friis, Gregers Stig Andersen

Background: Fetal and early life growth is associated with adult risk of obesity and cardiometabolic disease. However, little is known about the relative importance of birth weight and successive periods of weight gain on markers of cardiometabolic risk in childhood in low-income populations.

Objectives: The objective was to study associations of birth weight and weight gain velocities in selected age intervals from birth to 60 mo with height, fat-free mass (FFM), and markers of adiposity and cardiometabolic risk at 60 mo.

Methods: In a prospective cohort study of 375 Ethiopian children aged 60 mo, we estimated individual weight gain velocities in the periods between birth and 3, 6, 24, 48, and 60 mo using linear-spline mixed-effects modeling. Subsequently, we analyzed associations of birth weight, weight gain velocities, and current weight with height, FFM, and markers of adiposity and cardiometabolic risk.

Results: Weight gain from 48 to 60 mo and weight at 60 mo rather than birth weight were the strongest correlates of insulin, C-peptide, HOMA-IR, blood pressure, height, FFM, waist circumference, and fat mass at 60 mo. For instance, 1 SD higher (1 SD = 50 g/mo) weight accretion from 48 to 60 mo was associated with a higher insulin of 23.3% (95% CI: 9.6%, 38.8%), C-peptide of 11.4% (2.7%, 20.8%), systolic blood pressure of 1.4 mm Hg (0.6, 2.3 mm Hg), fat mass of 0.72 kg (0.59, 0.85 kg), and FFM of 0.70 kg (0.56, 0.85 kg). Weight gain from 0 to 3 mo was positively associated with LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, height, and the body composition indices, and weight gain from 24 to 48 mo was inversely associated with blood glucose.

Conclusions: In 60-mo-old Ethiopian urban children, weight gain and weight after 48 mo rather than weight at birth may represent a sensitive period for variations in markers of adiposity and glucose metabolism. The birth cohort is registered at https://www.isrctn.com/ as ISRCTN46718296.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nutrition
ISSN0022-3166
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Science - Birth weight, Body composition, Cardiometabolic status, Cohort study, Child, Developmental origins of health and disease, Ethiopia, Growth, Infant, Linear-spline mixed-effects model

ID: 222803852