Growth across life course and cardiovascular risk markers in 18-year-old adolescents: the 1993 Pelotas birth cohort

Romina Buffarini, Maria Clara Restrepo-Mendez, Vera Maria Silveira, Helen Denise Gonçalves, Isabel O Oliveira, Ana Maria Menezes, Maria Cecilia Formoso Assunção

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Objective To evaluate the association between growth trajectories from birth to adolescence and cardiovascular risk marker levels at age 18 years in a population-based cohort. In order to disentangle the effect of weight gain from that of height gain, growth was analysed using conditional weight relative to linear growth (CWh) and conditional length/height (CH).

Design Prospective study.

Setting 1993 Pelotas birth cohort, Southern Brazil.

Participants Individuals who have been followed up from birth to adolescence (at birth, 1, 4, 11, 15 and 18 years).

Primary outcome measures C-reactive protein (CRP), total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TGL), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC).

Results In both sexes, greater CWh at 1 year was positively associated with BMI and WC, whereas greater CWh at most age periods in childhood and adolescence predicted higher CRP, TC, LDL-C, TGL, SBP, DBP, BMI and WC levels, as well as lower HDL-C level. Higher CH during infancy and childhood was positively related with SBP in boys and girls, and with BMI and WC only in boys.

Conclusion Our study shows that rapid weight gain from 1 year onwards is positively associated with several markers of cardiovascular risk at 18 years. Overall, our results for the first year of life add evidence to the ‘first 1000 days initiative’ suggesting that prevention of excessive weight gain in childhood might be important in reducing subsequent cardiovascular risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019164
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2018

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