Blood pressure levels in childhood: probing the relative importance of birth weight and current size.
ABSTRACT Several studies have reported data supporting the idea that an impaired intrauterine environment that deprives the fetus of optimal nutrient delivery results in the predisposition of the fetus to experience cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunction in later life. However, contradictory data still exist. Our purpose was to investigate the effects of both birth weight and weight gain on the risk for high blood pressure levels in 6- to 10-year-old children. This cross-sectional study included 739 children divided into quartiles of birth weight. The mean values of both systolic and diastolic pressure were significantly different between quartiles of birth weight, with increasing blood pressure values as the birth weight decreased (P<0.001). Covariance analysis adjusting for gender, prematurity, and body mass index (BMI) showed that both systolic and diastolic pressure remained greater in the lowest than in the highest birth weight quartile. Separating those with low and normal birth weight demonstrated that the risk of childhood hypertension was significantly higher among children with low birth weight and current obesity (odds ratio [OR]: 5.0, confidence interval [CI]: 3.3 to 16.1; P=0.023). The inverse association between birth weight and blood pressure levels appears to be programmed during fetal life, while weight gain during childhood adds to this risk.
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ABSTRACT: Leptin, homocysteine (Hcy), and C-reactive protein are risk factors potentially useful in predicting future cardiac events. These plasma biomarkers may participate in the regulation of cardiovascular function through an NO-dependent mechanism. Our purpose was to investigate whether alterations in C-reactive protein, Hcy, leptin, and NO are present in small-for-gestational-age children and to determine whether the levels of these plasma biomarkers are associated with birth weight, vascular function, and blood pressure. Concentrations of leptin, Hcy, C-reactive protein, and NO were measured in 69 children (36 boys and 33 girls; ages 8 to 13 years). Leptin (means difference: 1.4 ng/mL; 95% CI: 0.4 to 2.4) and Hcy (means difference: 0.9 micromol/L; 95% CI: 0.3 to 1.5) levels were significantly elevated in children born small for gestational age compared with those with appropriate birth weight. Nevertheless, NO (means difference: 342.9 micromol; 95% CI: 124.2 to 561.6) concentration was significantly reduced in small birth weight children, and the levels of C-reactive protein remained unchanged. There was a significant association between the circulating levels of both NO and Hcy with vascular function, as well as with blood pressure levels, in our population. Because both Hcy and NO are associated with a risk of cardiovascular disease, it is possible that part of the association of low birth weight with elevated risk for vascular and metabolic disease in later life is mediated by perturbation in pathways for these biomarkers.Hypertension 09/2007; 50(2):396-402. · 6.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To conduct a systematic review in order to (i) summarize the relationship between birthweight and blood pressure, following numerous publications in the last 3 years, (ii) assess whether other measures of size at birth are related to blood pressure, and (iii) study the role of postnatal catch-up growth in predicting blood pressure. All papers published between March 1996 and March 2000 that examined the relationship between birth weight and systolic blood pressure were identified and combined with the papers examined in a previous review. More than 444,000 male and female subjects aged 0-84 years of all ages and races. Eighty studies described the relationship of blood pressure with birth weight The majority of the studies in children, adolescents and adults reported that blood pressure fell with increasing birth weight, the size of the effect being approximately 2 mmHg/kg. Head circumference was the only other birth measurement to be most consistently associated with blood pressure, the magnitude of the association being a decrease in blood pressure by approximately 0.5 mmHg/cm. Skeletal and non-skeletal postnatal catch-up growth were positively associated with blood pressure, with the highest blood pressures occurring in individuals of low birth weight but high rates of growth subsequently. Both birth weight and head circumference at birth are inversely related to systolic blood pressure. The relationship is present in adolescence but attenuated compared to both the pre- and post-adolescence periods. Accelerated postnatal growth is also associated with raised blood pressure.Journal of Hypertension 08/2000; 18(7):815-31. · 3.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Early life factors, particularly size at birth, may influence later risk of cardiovascular disease, but a mechanism for this influence has not been established. We have examined the relation between birth weight and endothelial function (a key event in atherosclerosis) in a population-based study of children, taking into account classic cardiovascular risk factors in childhood. We studied 333 British children aged 9 to 11 years in whom information on birth weight, maternal factors, and risk factors (including blood pressure, lipid fractions, preload and postload glucose levels, smoking exposure, and socioeconomic status) was available. A noninvasive ultrasound technique was used to assess the ability of the brachial artery to dilate in response to increased blood flow (induced by forearm cuff occlusion and release), an endothelium-dependent response. Birth weight showed a significant, graded, positive association with flow-mediated dilation (0.027 mm/kg; 95% CI, 0.003 to 0.051 mm/kg; P=.02). Childhood cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, and salivary cotinine level) showed no relation with flow-mediated dilation, but HDL cholesterol level was inversely related (-0.067 mm/mmol; 95% CI, -0.021 to -0.113 mm/mmol; P=.005). The relation between birth weight and flow-mediated dilation was not affected by adjustment for childhood body build, parity, cardiovascular risk factors, social class, or ethnicity. Low birth weight is associated with impaired endothelial function in childhood, a key early event in atherogenesis. Growth in utero may be associated with long-term changes in vascular function that are manifest by the first decade of life and that may influence the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease.Circulation 11/1997; 96(7):2233-8. · 15.20 Impact Factor