Associations between anthropometric indicators in early life and low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and lipid profile in adolescence
Background and aims
The long-term relations between excessive adiposity in early childhood and unfavourable cardiometabolic profiles in later ages are not yet completely understood. We aimed to assess the associations between birth weight (BW) and BMI from 6 months to 6 years of age, with biomarkers indicative of low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and lipid profiles in adolescence.
Methods and results
Retrospective school-based study with 415 Portuguese adolescents (220 girls), mean age of 14.08 ± 1.6 years old. Anthropometric data from birth to 6 years old was extracted from individual child health book records. Actual weight and height were measured and BMI calculated. Participants were classified at each time point as normal weight or overweight according to WHO reference values. Biomarkers were obtained from venous blood samples. Linear regressions were used to explore the associations between the biomarkers and early life anthropometric indicators. From 2 years onwards, BMI associated positively with the inflammatory score and HOMA-IR in adolescence. Children who were overweight/obese from 2 to 6 years of age presented significantly higher inflammatory score and HOMA-IR later in adolescence. TC/HDL ratio was also positively associated with BMI from the age of 5 years onwards. The associations between BMI and cardiometabolic outcomes remained positive in adolescence, with overweight adolescents presenting a higher inflammatory score, HOMA-IR and TC/HDL than normal weight adolescents.
A high BMI from an early age was consistently associated with worse inflammatory and lipid profiles and insulin resistance in adolescence. No associations were found between BW and the same studied outcomes.