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Preschool children born moderately preterm have increased waist circumference at two years of age despite low body mass index

Authors

  • J Roswall,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, County Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden
    2. Department of Paediatrics, Institute for Clinical Sciences, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • A-K Karlsson,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Gothenburg Paediatric Growth Research Centre, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • K Allvin,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Gothenburg Paediatric Growth Research Centre, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • G Almqvist Tangen,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Institute for Clinical Sciences, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Child Health Care Unit, County of Halland, Halland, Sweden
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  • S Bergman,

    1. Research and Development Centre, Spenshult Hospital, Oskarström, Sweden
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  • A Niklasson,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Gothenburg Paediatric Growth Research Centre, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • B Alm,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Institute for Clinical Sciences, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Child Health Care Unit, County of Halland, Halland, Sweden
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  • J Dahlgren

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Gothenburg Paediatric Growth Research Centre, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
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Josefine Roswall, Department of Paediatrics, County Hospital Halmstad, SE-301 85 Halmstad, Sweden.
Tel: +46 35 13 10 00 |
Fax: +46 35 13 4106 |
Email: josefine.roswall@regionhalland.se

Abstract

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.

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