TitleHow do changes in body mass index in infancy and childhood associate with cardiometabolic profile in adulthood? Findings from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSovio, U, Kaakinen, M, Tzoulaki, I, Das, S, Ruokonen, A, Pouta, A, Hartikainen, A-L, Molitor, J, Järvelin, M-R
JournalInternational journal of obesity (2005)
Date Published01/2014
KeywordsWaist Circumference

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Postnatal growth patterns leading to obesity may have adverse influences on future cardiometabolic health. This study evaluated age and body mass index (BMI) at infant BMI peak (BMIP) and childhood BMI rebound (BMIR) in relation to adult cardiometabolic outcomes in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. METHODS: BMI at various ages was calculated from frequent height and weight measurements obtained from child health and welfare clinical records. Age and BMI at BMIP and BMIR were derived from random effect models fitted at >0-1.5 years (N=3 265) and >1.5-13 years (N=4 121). Cardiometabolic outcomes were obtained from a clinical examination at age 31 years. Multiple regression models were used to analyse associations between the derived growth parameters and cardiometabolic outcomes. RESULTS: Age and BMI at BMIP were positively associated with adult BMI and waist circumference (WC), independently of birth weight and infant height growth (P<0.05). Later BMIR was associated with a better cardiometabolic profile: adult BMI and insulin were 14% lower, WC and triglycerides were 10% lower and the odds of metabolic syndrome (MetS) were 74% lower per 2 s.d. (1.86 years) higher age at BMIR (P<0.0001). BMI at rebound had generally weaker associations with cardiometabolic outcomes, which attenuated after adjustment for age at BMIR. CONCLUSIONS: Age and BMI at infant BMIP were associated with adult adiposity but not with other cardiometabolic outcomes. Earlier timing of BMIR was a risk factor of an adverse cardiometabolic profile, independently of early growth or BMI at rebound. Identifying growth patterns harmful to cardiovascular health will give opportunities for early interventions.