Menezes, Ana M. B., Hallal, Pedro C., Dumith, Samuel C., Matijasevich, Alicia M., Araújo, Cora L. P., Yudkin, John, Osmond, Clive, Barros, Fernando C. and Victora, Cesar G.
Adolescent blood pressure, body mass index and skin folds: sorting out the effects of early weight and length gains
Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 66, (2), . (doi:10.1136/jech.2010.124842). (PMID:21325148).
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Background Although there is longstanding evidence of
the short-term benefits of promoting rapid growth for
young children in low-income settings, more recent
studies suggest that early weight gain can also increase
the risk of chronic diseases in adults. This paper
attempts to separate the effects of early life weight and
length/height gains on blood pressure, body mass index
(BMI), sum of skin folds and subscapular/triceps skin fold
ratio at 14e15 years of age.
Methods The sample comprised 833 members of
a prospective population-based birth cohort from Brazil.
Conditional size (weight or height) analyses were used to
express the difference between observed size at a given
age and expected size based on a regression, including
all previous measures of the same anthropometric index.
A positive conditional weight or height indicates growing
faster than expected given prior size.
Results Conditional weights at all age ranges were
positively associated with most outcomes; each z-score
of conditional weight at 4 years was associated with an
increase of 6.1 mm in the sum of skin folds (95% CI 4.5
to 7.6) in adolescence after adjustment for conditional
length/height. Associations of the outcomes with
conditional length/height were mostly negative or nonsignificantdeach
z-score was associated with
a reduction of 2.4 mm (95% CI ?3.8 to ?1.1) in the sum
of skin folds after adjustment for conditional weight. No
associations were found with the skin fold ratio.
Conclusion The promotion of rapid length/height gain
without excessive weight gain seems to be beneficial for
long-term outcomes, but this requires confirmation from
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