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Body mass index trajectories in early childhood in relation to cardiometabolic risk profile and body composition at 5 years of age

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BACKGROUND: Both impaired and accelerated postnatal growth have been associated with adult risks of obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, the timing of the onset of cardiometabolic changes and the specific growth trajectories linking early growth with later disease risks are not well understood.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to identify distinct trajectories of BMI growth from 0 to 5 y and examine their associations with body composition and markers of cardiometabolic risk at age 5 y.

METHODS: In a prospective birth cohort study of 453 healthy and term Ethiopian children with BMIs assessed a median of 9 times during follow-up, we identified subgroups of distinct BMI trajectories in early childhood using latent class trajectory modeling. Associations of the identified growth trajectories with cardiometabolic markers and body composition at 5 y were analyzed using multiple linear regression analyses in 4 adjustment models for each outcome.

RESULTS: We identified 4 heterogeneous BMI growth trajectories: stable low BMI (19.2%), normal BMI (48.8%), rapid catch-up to high BMI (17.9%), and slow catch-up to high BMI (14.1%). Compared with the normal BMI trajectory, children in the rapid catch-up to high BMI trajectory had higher triglycerides (TGs) (range of β-coefficients in Models 1-4: 19-21%), C-peptides (23-25%), fat masses (0.48-0.60 kg), and fat-free masses (0.50-0.77 kg) across the 4 adjustment models. Children in the stable low BMI trajectory had lower LDL cholesterol concentrations (0.14-0.17 mmol/L), HDL cholesterol concentrations (0.05-0.09 mmol/L), fat masses (0.60-0.64 kg), and fat-free masses (0.35-0.49 kg), but higher TGs (11-13%).

CONCLUSIONS: The development of obesity and cardiometabolic risks may be established already in early childhood; thus, our data provide a further basis for timely interventions targeted at young children from low-income countries with unfavorable growth patterns. The birth cohort was registered at ISRCTN as ISRCTN46718296.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American journal of clinical nutrition
Volume110
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1175–1185
Number of pages11
ISSN0002-9165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • body composition, child, cohort study, developmental origins of health and disease, growth, latent class trajectory modeling, noncommunicable diseases, sub-Saharan Africa

ID: 57974960