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Pediatrics. 2017 Mar 29. pii: e20162738. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2738. [Epub ahead of print]

Childhood Adiposity and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Adulthood.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China; and.
2
Systems-Oriented Global Childhood Obesity Intervention Program, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China; and jiemi@vip.163.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association of childhood adiposity and change in adiposity status from childhood to adulthood with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and abnormal liver enzyme levels in adulthood.

METHODS:

Data were obtained from a population-based cohort of children aged 6 to 18 years started in 1987. From 2010 to 2014, 1350 subjects (aged 28-45 years) from the original cohort were followed. Childhood overweight and obesity were defined using BMI and subscapular skinfold thickness, respectively. In adulthood, ultrasound-based NAFLD, abnormal liver enzymes, and related risk factors were assessed.

RESULTS:

Overweight or obese children were more likely to have adult NAFLD (males: odds ratio [OR] = 2.49 for BMI and 2.78 for subscapular skinfold thickness; females: OR = 3.34 and 3.61; all Ps < .001) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation (males: OR = 1.64 and 1.66; females: OR = 2.12 and 3.01; all Ps < .05) than children with normal weight for both sexes. Compared with subjects who had normal weight in childhood and were nonobese in adulthood, subjects who were obese in adulthood, irrespective of their childhood adiposity status, were more likely to have NAFLD and ALT elevation in adulthood for both sexes. However, subjects who were overweight or obese in childhood but became nonobese in adulthood had similar likelihood of having NAFLD and ALT elevation in adulthood for both sexes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overweight or obese children are more likely to have NAFLD and ALT elevation in adulthood. However, the risk associated with increased weight during childhood can be mitigated by becoming nonobese in adulthood.

PMID:
28356335
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2016-2738
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