Accretion of Fat-Free Mass Rather Than Fat Mass in Infancy Is Positively Associated with Linear Growth in Childhood.

Research paper by Bitiya B Admassu, Christian C Ritz, Jonathan C K JCK Wells, Tsinuel T Girma, Gregers S GS Andersen, Tefera T Belachew, Victor V Owino, Kim F KF Michaelsen, Mubarek M Abera, Rasmus R Wibaek, Henrik H Friis, Pernille P Kæstel

Indexed on: 17 Apr '18Published on: 17 Apr '18Published in: The Journal of nutrition


We have previously shown that fat-free mass (FFM) at birth is associated with height at 2 y of age in Ethiopian children. However, to our knowledge, the relation between changes in body composition during early infancy and later linear growth has not been studied. This study examined the associations of early infancy fat mass (FM) and FFM accretion with linear growth from 1 to 5 y of age in Ethiopian children. In the infant Anthropometry and Body Composition (iABC) study, a prospective cohort study was carried out in children in Jimma, Ethiopia, followed from birth to 5 y of age. FM and FFM were measured ≤6 times from birth to 6 mo by using air-displacement plethysmography. Linear mixed-effects models were used to identify associations between standardized FM and FFM accretion rates during early infancy and linear growth from 1 to 5 y of age. Standardized accretion rates were obtained by dividing FM and FFM accretion by their respective SD. FFM accretion from 0 to 6 mo of age was positively associated with length at 1 y (β = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.19, 1.09; P = 0.005) and linear growth from 1 to 5 y (β = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.19, 1.07; P = 0.005). The strongest association with FFM accretion was observed at 1 y. The association with linear growth from 1 to 5 y was mainly engendered by the 1-y association. FM accretion from 0 to 4 mo was positively associated with linear growth from 1 to 5 y (β = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.88; P = 0.038) in the fully adjusted model. In Ethiopian children, FFM accretion was associated with linear growth at 1 y and no clear additional longitudinal effect from 1 to 5 y was observed. FM accretion showed a weak association from 1 to 5 y. This trial was registered at www.controlled-trials.com as ISRCTN46718296.

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