Preschool children born moderately preterm have increased waist circumference at two years of age despite low body mass index
Article first published online: 7 SEP 2012
© 2012 The Author(s)/Acta Pædiatrica © 2012 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 101, Issue 11, pages 1175–1181, November 2012
How to Cite
Roswall, J., Karlsson, A.-K., Allvin, K., Tangen, G. A., Bergman, S., Niklasson, A., Alm, B. and Dahlgren, J. (2012), Preschool children born moderately preterm have increased waist circumference at two years of age despite low body mass index. Acta Paediatrica, 101: 1175–1181. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02819.x
- Issue published online: 1 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 7 SEP 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 AUG 2012 10:08AM EST
- Received 18 August 2011; revised 25 June 2012; accepted 9 August 2012.
- Metabolic syndrome;
- Waist circumference;
- Waist-to-height ratio
Aim: To investigate the development of waist circumference (WC) in preschool children born preterm compared with a population-based reference.
Background: Children born preterm are reported to be insulin resistant, despite being lean during early childhood. We hypothesize that the mechanism is through increased visceral adiposity.
Methods: Data from 4446 preschool children (2169 girls/2277 boys) born in 2001–2006 from a population-based study were compared with longitudinal measurements of body mass index (BMI) and WC from a cohort of 152 children (64 girls/88 boys) born moderately preterm in 2002–2004 (gestational age, 32–37 weeks).
Results: In the preterm children, the mean WC was 2.8 cm larger compared with the reference group (p < 0.001) at 2 years of age but not at 5 years of age. There was no significant difference in the mean BMI at 2 years of age. The preterm group was significantly leaner at 5 years of age, with a mean BMI of 15.13 compared with 15.98 in the reference group (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Children born moderately preterm present as lean during early childhood but have an increased waist circumference in infancy, pointing towards a change in fat distribution with more abdominal fat. This may have implications for their metabolic status.