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17-03-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Preventing ‘excessive’ weight gain in childhood may reduce CV risk later in life


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MedWire News: Weight gain and growth in early life can have significant effects on cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in adulthood, say researchers.

Ramakrishnan Lakshmy (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India) and colleagues say that a lower body mass index (BMI) at birth in women, and during infancy in men and women, is associated with higher concentrations of fibrinogen, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 in adulthood.

They add that in both genders, an accelerated gain in BMI during childhood is also associated with higher concentrations of these risk factors in adulthood.

Using data from a birth-cohort study in New Delhi, which included measures for 886 men and 640 women, the team analyzed the relationship between mean BMI measured at birth, during infancy (measured at 2 years), childhood (measured at 11 years), and adulthood (measured between 26 and 32 years), as well as BMI gain between these ages, with respect to adult fibrinogen, hsCRP, and PAI-1 concentrations.

Lakshmy et al found significant positive associations between all the pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic risk factors and adult adiposity.

In women, a higher BMI at birth and at 2 years was significantly associated with lower concentrations of fibrinogen and hsCRP in adulthood, but there were no associations between size at birth and adult outcomes in men.

Nevertheless, BMI measures at 2 years in men were significantly and inversely associated with adult hsCRP and PAI-1 concentrations.

In contrast, regression analyses showed that a greater gain in BMI from 2 to 11 years, and 11 years to adulthood was significantly associated with higher adult hsCRP concentrations in both genders, and with higher PAI-1 in men, and higher fibrinogen in women.

Writing in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the authors say that the relationship between lower BMI at birth and during infancy and higher levels of inflammatory markers in adulthood indicates "persisting effects of the intra-uterine and early postnatal environmental or genetic effects."

They also say that the positive relationship between adult outcomes and BMI gain may be related to the development of adult adiposity.

Lakshmy et al therefore suggest that preventing excessive BMI gain in childhood may reduce CV disease risk later in life.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Nikki Withers

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