Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1383-92. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.27139. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Size at birth, weight gain in infancy and childhood, and adult blood pressure in 5 low- and middle-income-country cohorts: when does weight gain matter?

Author information

  • 1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.



Promoting catch-up growth in malnourished children has health benefits, but recent evidence suggests that accelerated child weight gain increases adult chronic disease risk.


We aimed to determine how birth weight (BW) and weight gain to midchildhood relate to blood pressure (BP) in young adults.


We pooled data from birth cohorts in Brazil, Guatemala, India, the Philippines, and South Africa. We used conditional weight (CW), a residual of current weight regressed on prior weights, to represent deviations from expected weight gain from 0 to 12, 12 to 24, 24 to 48 mo, and 48 mo to adulthood. Adult BP and risk of prehypertension or hypertension (P/HTN) were modeled before and after adjustment for adult body mass index (BMI) and height. Interactions of CWs with small size-for-gestational age (SGA) at birth were tested.


Higher CWs were associated with increased BP and odds of P/HTN, with coefficients proportional to the contribution of each CW to adult BMI. Adjusted for adult height and BMI, no child CW was associated with adult BP, but 1 SD of BW was related to a 0.5-mm Hg lower systolic BP and a 9% lower odds of P/HTN. BW and CW associations with systolic BP and P/HTN were not different between adults born SGA and those with normal BW, but higher CW at 48 mo was associated with higher diastolic BP in those born SGA.


Greater weight gain at any age relates to elevated adult BP, but faster weight gains in infancy and young childhood do not pose a higher risk than do gains at other ages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center