Early Infant Weight Gain Linked to Adult Problems

First three month's weight gain associated with adult cardiovascular problems and diabetes
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid weight gain in the first three months of life is associated with development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adulthood, according to a report in the June 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ralph W. J. Leunissen, M.D., of Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed longitudinal data from the Programming Factors for Growth and Metabolism study of 217 subjects, aged 18 to 24 years. The researchers evaluated the data for associations between first-year rate of growth and weight gain and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Overall, the researchers found that rapid weight gain in the first three months was associated with a higher body fat percentage, central adiposity, and reduced insulin sensitivity in early adulthood, compared to weight gain spread over the first year. Early weight gain was directly associated with adulthood waist circumference (β, 1.437), ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (β, 0.052), and triglycerides level (β, 0.066), and was inversely associated with insulin sensitivity (β, -0.223) and serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (β, -0.053).

"In conclusion, rapid weight gain in the first three months of life is associated with an unfavorable cardiovascular and metabolic profile in early adulthood. Furthermore, rapid weight gain in the first three months of life is more detrimental than slow weight gain," the authors write.

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