New publication: Body composition at birth and height at 2 years: A prospective cohort study among children in Jimma, Ethiopia – University of Copenhagen

28 April 2017

New publication: Body composition at birth and height at 2 years: A prospective cohort study among children in Jimma, Ethiopia

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Authors: Admassu B (1), Wells JC (2), Girma T (3), Andersen GS (4), Owino V (5), Belachew T (1), Michaelsen KF (6), Abera M (7), Wibaek R (4,6), Friis H (6), Kæstel P (6).

1) Department of Population and Family Health, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia.
2) Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, UCL Institute of Child Health London, UK.
3) Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia.
4) Steno Diabetes Center, Copenhagen, Gentofte, Denmark.
5) International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.
6) Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
7) Department of Psychiatry, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Low birth weight is associated with childhood stunting, but equivalent associations for birth body composition (BC) remain unknown.

OBJECTIVE:
To assess associations of BC with height-for-age Z score (HAZ) at 2 years of age.

METHODS:
In a prospective cohort study, fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were measured using air-displacement plethysmography within 48 h of birth. Linear regression models were applied to study the relationship between BC at birth and HAZ at 24 months (±3 months).

RESULTS:
A total of 268 children with height assessment at 2 years were included. Mean±s.d. HAZ at 2 years of age was -1.2±1.2, with 25.8% classified as stunted (HAZ<-2 s.d.). FFM at birth was positively associated with HAZ at 2 years, independent of length at birth. When adjusted for potential confounders, HAZ at 2 years was 0.73 higher for each additional kg FFM at birth (β=0.73, 95%CI (0.08, 1.38). FM was not associated with HAZ at 2 years in any model.

CONCLUSION:
The FFM component of birth weight, independent of length, explains variability in HAZ at 2 years. Further studies are required to explore how changes in early infant BC are associated with linear growth.Pediatric Research accepted article preview online, 19 April 2017. doi:10.1038/pr.2017.59.