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Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Dec;44(6):1943-50. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv202. Epub 2015 Oct 8.

Variability and rapid increase in body mass index during childhood are associated with adult obesity.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA, sli10@tulane.edu.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, China.
4
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA, Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA and Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Body mass index (BMI) in childhood predicts obesity in adults, but it is unknown whether rapid increase and variability in BMI during childhood are independent predictors of adult obesity.

METHODS:

The study cohort consisted of 1622 Bogalusa Heart Study participants (aged 20 to 51 years at follow-up) who had been screened at least four times during childhood (aged 4-19 years). BMI rate of change during childhood for each individual was assessed by mixed models; BMI residual standard deviation (RSD) during childhoodwas used as a measure of variability. The average follow-up period was 20.9 years.

RESULTS:

One standard deviation increase in rate of change in BMI during childhood was associated with 1.39 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17-1.61] kg/m(2) increase in adult BMI and 2.98 (95% CI: 2.42-3.56) cm increase in adult waist circumference, independently of childhood mean BMI. Similarly, one standard deviation increase in RSD in BMI during childhood was associated with 0.46 (95% CI: 0.23-0.69) kg/m(2) increase in adult BMI and 1.42 (95% CI: 0.82-2.02) cm increase in adult waist circumference. Odds ratio for adult obesity progressively increased from the lowest to the highest quartile of BMI rate of change or RSD during childhood (P for trend < 0.05 for both).

CONCLUSIONS:

Rapid increase and greater variability in BMI during childhood appear to be independent risk factors for adult obesity. Our findings have implications for understanding body weight regulation and obesity development from childhood to adulthood.

KEYWORDS:

Obesity; longitudinal analysis; rate of change; variability

PMID:
26452389
PMCID:
PMC4715253
DOI:
10.1093/ije/dyv202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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