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Int J Epidemiol. 2011 Feb;40(1):102-11. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq121. Epub 2010 Jul 26.

Childhood body mass index and adult pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic risk factors: data from the New Delhi birth cohort.

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Department of Cardiac Biochemistry, Department of Endocrinology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Weight gain and growth in early life may influence adult pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic cardiovascular risk factors.


Follow-up of a birth cohort in New Delhi, India, whose weight and height were measured every 6 months until age 21 years. Body mass index (BMI) at birth, during infancy (2 years), childhood (11 years) and adulthood (26-32 years) and BMI gain between these ages were analysed in 886 men and 640 women with respect to adult fibrinogen, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) concentrations.


All the pro-inflammatory/pro-thrombotic risk factors were higher in participants with higher adiposity. In women, BMI at birth and age 2 years was inversely related to fibrinogen (P = 0.002 and 0.05) and, after adjusting for adult adiposity, to hsCRP (P = 0.02 and 0.009). After adjusting for adult adiposity, BMI at 2 years was inversely related to hsCRP and PAI-1 concentrations (P < 0.001 and 0.02) in men. BMI gain between 2 and 11 years and/or 11 years to adulthood was positively associated with fibrinogen and hsCRP in women and with hsCRP and PAI-1 in men.


Thinness at birth or during infancy, and accelerated BMI gain during childhood/adolescence are associated with a pro-inflammatory/pro-thrombotic state in adult life. An altered inflammatory state could be one link between small newborn/infant size and adult cardiovascular disease. Associations between pro-inflammatory markers and childhood/adolescent BMI gain are probably mediated through adult adiposity.

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