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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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

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
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1175-1185
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Body composition, Cohort study, Child, Developmental origins of health and disease, Growth, Latent class trajectory analysis, Noncommunicable diseases, Sub-Saharan Africa

ID: 227472265