Small and large size for gestational age at birth, infant growth, and childhood overweight

Authors

  • Hendrik R. Taal,

    1. The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    3. Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Albert J. vd Heijden,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Eric A.P. Steegers,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Albert Hofman,

    1. The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Vincent W.V. Jaddoe

    Corresponding author
    1. The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    3. Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Disclosure: All the authors declared no competing interests.

  • Funding agencies: The first phase of the Generation R Study is made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam; Erasmus University Rotterdam; and The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). Vincent Jaddoe received an additional grant from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw 90700303, 916.10159). Additional support was provided by a grant from the Dutch Kidney Foundation (C08.2251). Role of the sponsor: The funding agencies had no role in the design and conduct of the study; nor in the collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; nor in the preparation, review, and approval of the manuscript.

  • Contributor's statements: H.R. Taal and V.W.V. Jaddoe were involved in primary data analyses and writing of the manuscript. A.J. van der Heijden, E.A.P. Steegers and A. Hofman and were involved in revising the manuscript and added valuable intellectual content. All authors made substantial contributions to the design of the study collection of the data, and interpretation of the data. All authors approved the final version of this manuscript for publication.

Abstract

Objective

The associations of size at birth, with infant growth of head circumference, length and weight, and fat mass and body mass index in preschool children were examined.

Design and Methods

In a population-based prospective cohort study among 3,941 children, head circumference, length and weight until the age of 4 years were repeatedly measured. Catch-up and catch-down growth were defined as a change in standard deviation scores of >0.67 from birth to 2 years of age.

Results

Although most children born small and large size for gestational age showed infant catch-up and catch-down growth, respectively, their mean head circumference, length and weight remained smaller and larger respectively, until the age of 4 years. Catch-up growth in children with a small and appropriate weight for gestational age and lack of catch-down growth in children born with a large weight for gestational age were associated with higher body mass index in preschool children. Children born with an appropriate weight for gestational age with catch-up growth and children born with a large weight for gestational without catch-down growth had increased risks of childhood overweight {odds ratios: 3.11 (95% confidence interval[95%CI] 2.37, 4.08) and 12.46 (95% CI: 6.07, 25.58) respectively}.

Conclusions

Children born small, appropriate and large size for gestational age have different growth patterns in early childhood and persistent differences in their head circumference, length, and weight until the age of 4 years. Children born with an appropriate weight for gestational age with catch-up growth and large weight for gestational children without catch-down growth have an increased risk of overweight.

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