[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objectives:
Birthweight differences between kwashiorkor and marasmus suggest that intrauterine factors influence the development of these syndromes of malnutrition and may modulate risk of obesity through dietary intake. We tested the hypotheses that the target protein intake in adulthood is associated with birthweight, and that protein leveraging to maintain this target protein intake would influence energy intake (EI) and body weight in adult survivors of malnutrition.
Sixty-three adult survivors of marasmus and kwashiorkor could freely compose a diet from foods containing 10, 15 and 25 percentage energy from protein (PEP; phase 1) for 3 days. Participants were then randomized in phase 2 (5 days) to diets with PEP fixed at 10%, 15% or 25%.
Self-selected PEP was similar in both groups. In the groups combined, selected PEP was 14.7, which differed significantly (P<0.0001) from the null expectation (16.7%) of no selection. Self-selected PEP was inversely related to birthweight, the effect disappearing after adjusting for sex and current body weight. In phase 2, PEP correlated inversely with EI (P = 0.002) and weight change from phase 1 to 2 (P = 0.002). Protein intake increased with increasing PEP, but to a lesser extent than energy increased with decreasing PEP.
Conclusions and implications:
Macronutrient intakes were not independently related to birth weight or diagnosis. In a free-choice situation (phase 1), subjects selected a dietary PEP significantly lower than random. Lower PEP diets induce increased energy and decreased protein intake, and are associated with weight gain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several noncommunicable diseases have their origins in early developmental phases. One factor possibly explaining the association between early growth and later health could be adipocyte function. The objective of this study was to assess the association between the adipocytokine chemerin and early growth and later health. 1074 participants from Helsinki Birth Cohort Study born 1934–1944 with information on prenatal and childhood growth participated. Metabolic outcomes include glucose tolerance, adiposity, and chemerin concentration. Mean chemerin concentrations were 5.0 ng/mL higher in women than in men (95% CI 2.7 to 7.2,
). The strongest correlate of chemerin concentration was adult waist circumference and body fat percentage (
, resp.). After adjustment for body fat percentage, chemerin concentration was 5.4 ng/mL lower in subjects with type 2 diabetes than in those with normal glucose tolerance (−0.2 to 10.9,
). It was 3.0 ng/mL higher in those with metabolic syndrome than in those without (0.6 to 5.3,
). No measure of early growth was associated with chemerin concentration. Our findings do not support a role for chemerin in linking early growth with later metabolic health.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggest that the inverse association between birth weight and adult blood pressure amplifies with age. Rapid childhood growth has also been linked to hypertension. The objective of this study was to determine whether the association between childhood growth and adult blood pressure amplifies with age. The study comprised 574 women and 462 men from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study who attended a clinical study in 2001–2004 and a follow-up in 2006–2008. Mean age at the clinic visits was 61.5 and 66.4 years, respectively. Blood pressure was measured at both occasions. Conditional growth models were used to assess relative weight gain and linear growth. We studied the associations between conditional growth and blood pressure as well as the presence of hypertension. Relative weight gain and linear growth between ages 2 and 11 years were inversely associated with systolic blood pressure at mean age 66.4 years, after adjustment for sex, blood pressure at mean age 61.5 years, as well as other covariates. A one
increase in linear growth between 2 and 11 years was associated with an OR of 0.61 for hypertension at mean age 66.4 years. Contrary to previous studies, we have shown an inverse association between childhood growth and adult blood pressure. There were, however, no associations between childhood growth and systolic blood pressure at mean age 61.5 years indicating that the beneficial effects of a more rapid than expected childhood growth might become more apparent with increasing age.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
We aimed to determine how linear growth and fat and lean tissue gain during discrete age periods from birth to adolescence are related to adolescent cardiometabolic risk factors and cognitive ability.
Adolescents born to mothers with normal glucose tolerance during pregnancy from an Indian birth cohort (N = 486, age 13.5 years) had detailed anthropometry and measurements of body fat (fat%), fasting plasma glucose, insulin and lipid concentrations, blood pressure and cognitive function. Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated. These outcomes were examined in relation to birth measurements and statistically independent measures (conditional SD scores) representing linear growth, and fat and lean tissue gain during birth-1, 1-2, 2-5, 5-9.5 and 9.5-13.5 years in 414 of the children with measurements at all these ages.
Birth length and linear growth at all ages were positively associated with current height. Fat gain, particularly during 5-9.5 years was positively associated with fat% at 13.5 years (0.44 SD per SD [99.9% confidence interval: 0.29,0.58]). Greater fat gain during mid-late childhood was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (5-9.5 years: 0.23 SD per SD [0.07,0.40]) and HOMA-IR (5-9.5 years: 0.24 [0.08,0.40], 9.5-13.5 years: 0.22 [0.06,0.38]). Greater infant growth (up to age 2 years) in linear, fat or lean components was unrelated to cardiometabolic risk factors or cognitive function.
This study suggests that factors that increase linear, fat and lean growth in infancy have no adverse cardiometabolic effects in this population. Factors that increase fat gain in mid-late childhood may increase cardiometabolic risk, without any benefit to cognitive abilities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research Question: What is the subsequent growth trajectory of term low birth weight (LBW) Indian newborns adhering to prescribed nutrition and health care recommendations?
Methods: 2079 term LBW newborns from an urban poor setting were followed-up for growth from 0 to 26 weeks (n=1282) and at 3-7 years (n=912). Using Cole’s LMS approach, age and sex specific internal Z-scores were computed and subsequently adjusted for the effect of a vitamin D intervention and potential bias due to attrition. Back-transformed measurements were then used to compute WHO Z-scores for height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and BMI-for-age (BMIZ).
Results: HAZ remained virtually stable; mean change from birth till 6 weeks, 26 weeks and 3-7 years was 0.07, 0.04 and 0.2 SD, respectively. BMIZ and WAZ showed considerable catch-up; 0.69, 1.84 and 1.38 SD for BMIZ and 0.25, 0.89 and 0.60 SD for WAZ, respectively. Maximal catch-up occurred at 26 weeks with some growth faltering thereafter.
Conclusion: Term LBW infants reared under adverse socio-economic conditions in childhood show substantial catch-up growth in BMIZ and WAZ but not in HAZ. The potential impact of this excess weight over length gain in later life, especially for cardio-metabolic risk factors and human capital development, needs urgent evaluation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health in adulthood is in part a consequence of development and growth taking place during sensitive periods in early life. It has not been explored previously whether early growth is associated with physical performance in old age from a life course perspective taking into account health-related behavior, biological risk factors, and early life experiences. At a mean age of 71 years, physical performance was assessed using the Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in 1078 individuals belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. We used multiple linear regression analysis to assess the association between the SFT physical fitness scores and individual life course measurements. Several adult characteristics were associated with physical performance including socioeconomic status, lifestyle factors, and adult anthropometry. Higher birth weight and length were associated with better physical performance, even after adjusting for potential confounders (all p values <0.05). The strongest individual association between life course measurements and physical performance in old age was found for adult body fat percentage. However, prenatal growth was independently associated with physical performance seven decades later. These findings suggest that physical performance in old age is at least partly programmed in early life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Disturbed one-carbon (1-C) metabolism in the mother is associated with poor fetal growth but causality of this relationship has not been established. Methods: We studied the association between maternal total homocysteine and offspring birthweight in the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study (PMNS, Pune, India) and Parthenon Cohort Study (Mysore, India). We tested for evidence of causality within a Mendelian randomization framework, using a methylenetetrahydrofolatereductase (MTHFR) gene variant rs1801133 (earlier known as 677C -> T) by instrumental variable and triangulation analysis, separately and using meta-analysis. Results: Median (IQR) homocysteine concentration and mean (SD) birthweight were 8.6 mu mol/l (6.7,10.8) and 2642 g (379) in the PMNS and 6.0 mu mol/l (5.1,7.1) and 2871 g (443) in the Parthenon study. Offspring birthweight was inversely related to maternal homocysteine concentration-PMNS: -22 g/SD [95% confidence interval (CI): (-50, 5), adjusted for gestational age and offspring gender]; Parthenon: -57 g (-92, -21); meta-analysis: -40 g (-62, -17)]. Maternal risk genotype at rs1801133 predicted higher homocysteine concentration [PMNS: 0.30 SD/allele (0.14, 0.46); Parthenon: 0.21 SD (0.02, 0.40); meta-analysis: 0.26 SD (0.14, 0.39)]; and lower birthweight [PMNS: -46 g (-102, 11, adjusted for gestational age, offspring gender and rs1801133 genotype); Parthenon: -78 g (-170, 15); meta-analysis: -61 g (-111, -10)]. Instrumental variable and triangulation analysis supported a causal association between maternal homocysteine concentration and offspring birthweight. Conclusions: Our findings suggest a causal role for maternal homocysteine (1-C metabolism) in fetal growth. Reducing maternal homocysteine concentrations may improve fetal growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetes has been defined on the basis of different biomarkers, including fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-h plasma glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test (2hOGTT), and HbA(1c). We assessed the effect of different diagnostic definitions on both the population prevalence of diabetes and the classification of previously undiagnosed individuals as having diabetes versus not having diabetes in a pooled analysis of data from population-based health examination surveys in different regions.
Methods: We used data from 96 population-based health examination surveys that had measured at least two of the biomarkers used for defining diabetes. Diabetes was defined using HbA(1c) (HbA(1c) >= 6 . 5% or history of diabetes diagnosis or using insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs) compared with either FPG only or FPG-or-2hOGTT definitions (FPG >= 7 . 0 mmol/L or 2hOGTT >= 11 . 1 mmol/L or history of diabetes or using insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs). We calculated diabetes prevalence, taking into account complex survey design and survey sample weights. We compared the prevalences of diabetes using different definitions graphically and by regression analyses. We calculated sensitivity and specificity of diabetes diagnosis based on HbA1c compared with diagnosis based on glucose among previously undiagnosed individuals (ie, excluding those with history of diabetes or using insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs). We calculated sensitivity and specificity in each survey, and then pooled results using a random-effects model. We assessed the sources of heterogeneity of sensitivity by meta-regressions for study characteristics selected a priori.
Findings: Population prevalence of diabetes based on FPG- or-2hOGTT was correlated with prevalence based on FPG alone (r= 0 . 98), but was higher by 2-6 percentage points at different prevalence levels. Prevalence based on HbA(1c) was lower than prevalence based on FPG in 42 . 8% of age-sex-survey groups and higher in another 41 . 6%; in the other 15 . 6%, the two definitions provided similar prevalence estimates. The variation across studies in the relation between glucose-based and HbA(1c)-based prevalences was partly related to participants' age, followed by natural logarithm of per person gross domestic product, the year of survey, mean BMI, and whether the survey population was national, subnational, or from specific communities. Diabetes defined as HbA(1c) 6 . 5% or more had a pooled sensitivity of 52 . 8% (95% CI 51 . 3-54 . 3%) and a pooled specificity of 99 . 74% (99 . 71-99 . 78%) compared with FPG 7 . 0 mmol/L or more for diagnosing previously undiagnosed participants; sensitivity compared with diabetes defined based on FPG-or-2hOGTT was 30 . 5% (28 . 7-32 . 3%). None of the preselected study-level characteristics explained the heterogeneity in the sensitivity of HbA(1c) versus FPG.
Interpretation: Different biomarkers and definitions for diabetes can provide different estimates of population prevalence of diabetes, and differentially identify people without previous diagnosis as having diabetes. Using an HbA(1c)-based definition alone in health surveys will not identify a substantial proportion of previously undiagnosed people who would be considered as having diabetes using a glucose-based test.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motor development and cognitive development in childhood have been found to be fundamentally interrelated, but less is known about the association extending over the life course. The aim of this study was to examine the association between early motor development and cognitive performance in early old age. From men and women belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, who were born between 1934 and 1944 and resided in Finland in 1971, 1279 participated in cognitive performance tests (CogState®, version 3.0.5) between 2001 and 2006 at an average age of 64.2 years (SD 3.0). Of these, age at first walking extracted from child welfare clinic records was available for 398 participants. Longer reaction times in cognitive tasks measuring simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT), working memory (WM), divided attention (DA), and associated learning (AL) indicated poorer cognitive performance. Adjustment was made for sex, age at testing, father's occupational status and own highest attained education, and occupation in adulthood. Average age of learning to walk was 12.2 months (SD 2.1). After adjusting for covariates, earlier attainment of learning to walk was associated with shorter reaction times in cognitive performance tasks (SRT 10.32 % per month, 95 % CI 0.48-21.12, p = 0.039; CRT 14.17 % per month, 95 % CI 3.75-25.63, p = 0.007; WM 15.14 % per month, 95 % CI 4.95-26.32, p = 0.003). People who learned to walk earlier had better cognitive performance in early old age. The earlier attainment of motor skills may track over to early old age and possibly reflect greater cognitive reserve in older age.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
There is some evidence linking sub-optimal prenatal development to an increased risk of disability pension (DP). Our aim was to investigate whether body size at birth was associated with transitioning into all-cause and cause-specific DP during the adult work career.
10 682 people born in 1934-44 belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study had data on birth weight extracted from birth records, and on time, type and reason of retirement between 1971 and 2011 extracted from the Finnish Centre for Pensions.
Altogether 21.3% transitioned into DP during the 40-year follow-up, mainly due to mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular disease. Average age of transitioning into DP was 51.3 (SD 8.4) for men and 52.2 (SD 7.6) for women. Cohort members who did not transition into DP retired 10 years later on average. Among men, higher birth weight was associated with a lower hazard of transitioning into DP, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) being 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88-0.99 for 1 SD increase in birth weight). For DP due to mental disorders the adjusted HR was 0.90, 95% CI 0.81, 0.99. A similar but non-significant trend was found for DP due to cardiovascular disease. Among women there were no associations between body size at birth and all-cause DP (p for interaction gender*birth weight on DP p = 0.007).
Among men disability pension, particularly due to mental disorders, may have its origins in prenatal development. Given that those who retire due to mental health problems are relatively young, the loss to the workforce is substantial.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal obesity has long-term consequences for the offspring's later health, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The underlying mechanisms explaining these associations are, however, not fully understood.
A total of 2003 individuals from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study born 1934-44, underwent measurements of body size, body composition, and clinical characteristics at a mean age of 62 years. Data on maternal anthropometry were available from hospital records.
Maternal BMI was positively associated with BMI in the offspring. Higher maternal BMI was associated with less favorable body composition in the offspring. There was a significant interaction between birth weight and maternal BMI on offspring body fat percentage (P for interaction 0.003). In mothers with low BMI, a higher offspring birth weight was associated with lower fat percentage, while among those with maternal BMI in the highest fourth, higher offspring birth weight predicted higher body fat percentage.
Our findings suggest that a disadvantageous body composition is programmed in early life. This may in part underlie the association between maternal obesity and later cardio-metabolic health of the offspring. These findings support the importance of prevention of overweight in women of child-bearing age.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Annals of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Åland Islands were recently ranked as Finland’s healthiest region with lower prevalence of several non-communicable diseases compared with the national mean. We have compared birth characteristics of 1697 individuals born on the Åland Islands between 1937 and 1944 with contemporaneous data from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS;
=11,808). This is a first step towards a potential future analysis of Ålandic health from a life-course perspective. Mean birth weight and length were calculated for both cohorts. Birth weight was entered into a multiple linear regression model with sex, maternal age, marital status and birth year as predictors. Mean birth weight in the Åland cohort was 3499 g, 87 g (95% CI 62; 111) higher compared with the HBCS. Sex and maternal marital status were the strongest predictors of birth weight. More detailed studies are needed to explore the potential effects of this difference in average birth weight between cohorts.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease