Objective It has been reported that low birth weight, possibly in combination with postnatal catch-up growth, is associated with overweight and impaired glucose metabolism in adulthood. Therefore, the aim of our study is to assess the association if birth weight is related to anthropometry, blood pressure, and glucose metabolism in adolescence.
Methods The TRAILS-GECKO study is a population-based cohort study among 2000 adolescents, presently aged 14–18 years. They have been assessed biennially from age 10 within the framework of the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Study (TRAILS) in which amongst others birth weight data were collected. Data regarding anthropometry, body composition, blood pressure, and laboratory parameters have recently been collected in collaboration with the Groningen Expert Center for Kids with Obesity (GECKO).
Results Results from 1441 participants (52.4% girls) show that only in overweight/obese participants, skinfolds, body fat %, circumferences, blood pressure, insulin, and HOMA index tended to be associated with birth weight. Regression analyses showed that height was associated with both low and high birth weight. Weight, BMI, skinfolds, and waist and hip circumference were significantly higher in the LGA category only; diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was significantly higher in the SGA category. After adjusting for BMI in adolescence, birth weight remained significantly associated with waist circumference and DBP. In addition, LGA was negatively associated with SBP, fasting insulin, and HOMA index.
Conclusions Our results support an association between birth weight and anthropometry, blood pressure, and glucose metabolism in adolescence.