Weight gain in childhood and blood lipids in adolescence

Bernardo L. Horta, Cesar G. Victora, Rosângela C. Lima, Paulo Post

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Aim: To assess the effect of weight gain in childhood on blood lipid levels in adolescence. Methods: A population-based birth cohort carried out in Pelotas, Southern Brazil. All newborns in the city's hospitals were enrolled in 1982. The subjects have been followed up for several times in childhood. At age 18, 79% of all males were followed, and 2083 blood samples were available. Adjusted analyses controlled for household assets index, family income, parental schooling at birth, maternal smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding duration. Results: Birth weight for gestational age and weight gain in the first 20 months was not associated with blood lipid levels in adolescence. On the other hand, those subjects whose weight gain from 20 to 42 months of age was faster than that predicted from birth weight and weight-for-age z-score at the mean age of 20 months had lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol [-0.78 (95% confidence interval: -1.28; -0.29)] and higher very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL)/HDL ratio in adolescence. After controlling for current body mass index (BMI), the regression coefficient for HDL cholesterol decreased from -0.78 mg/dL to -0.29 mg/dL (95% confidence interval: -1.00 to 0.05). Conclusion: Weight gain from 2 to 4 years is related to an atherogenic lipid profile in adolescence and this association is mediated by current BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1028
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood lipids
  • Catch-up growth
  • Cholesterol
  • Cohort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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