Objective: Metabolic programming occurs during early life and nutritional factors are known to have long-lasting influences on metabolic health. We investigate associations between insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), leptin and adiponectin during infancy and metabolic markers in the same children at six years of age.
Method: The Swedish longitudinal Halland Health and Growth birth cohort study is population-based, originally including 388 newborns 2008. The cohort has also data on essential fatty acids in serum and from maternal breast milk as well as metagenomics of gut microbiota, but is not currently presented.
From this cohort serum IGF-I, leptin and adiponectin was analyzed at birth and four months of age, and these infant data were compared to body mass index (BMI), fasting insulin and cholesterol in 188 that remained in the study at six years of age.
Results: Compared to children with normal weight (n=153), those children that were obese or overweight at six years of age (n=35) had at four months of age lower serum adiponectin (P = 0.002), higher serum IGF-I (P <0.001) and higher serum leptin (P = 0.04). A lower serum IGF-I at four months correlated with a larger change in BMI from infancy to six years of age (P <0.001). A significant larger increase in BMI was also seen in those six children that were born small for gestational age (P = 0.02), and these had a significantly higher mean ± standard deviation fasting insulin level at 6 years of age (7.2 ± 2.1 versus 4.8 ± 2.4, P = 0.02). Despite adjusting for sex, birth weight and current BMI, infant IGF-I was still associated with fasting insulin at six years of age (P = 0.04). Despite adjusting for sex, birth weight and current BMI, infant adiponectin was associated with fasting high-density lipoprotein cholesterol at six years of age (P = 0.01). Again after adjustment, infant leptin accounted for 14% (β = 0.39, P <0.001) of fasting triglyceride levels at 6 years of age.
Conclusion: Serum IGF-I and adipokines at four months of age were associated with metabolic markers in the same children six years later. Despite adjusting for known influences such as fetal growth, sex and current body size there seems to be an early programming of the metabolic status by growth factors probably correlated through nutrition.
19 - 21 Sep 2019
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology