Background: Infants born small-for-gestational age (SGA) who develop postnatal weight catch-up are at risk for insulin resistance, central adiposity and cardiovascular disease in later life, even in the absence of overweight.
Objective and hypotheses: In young (age 36 years) non-obese SGA children, we assessed arterial health by intima-media thickness (IMT) and abdominal fat distribution (subcutaneous, visceral, pre-peritoneal and hepatic components by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or ultrasound (US)) besides a selection of endocrine markers.
Method: Comparisons of measures in SGA (n=27) vs appropriate-for-GA (AGA) children (n=19) of similar height, weight and BMI. Longitudinal outcomes (age 36 years) were carotid IMT (cIMT); fasting glucose, circulating insulin, IGF1 and high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin; abdominal fat partitioning by US. Cross-sectional outcomes (age 6 years) were aortic IMT (aIMT) and abdominal fat partitioning by MRI.
Results: At 3 and 6 years, cIMT and IGF1 results were higher and HMW adiponectin lower in SGA than AGA children; at 6 years, SGA subjects had also a thicker aIMT and more pre-peritoneal and hepatic fat, and were less insulin sensitive (all P between <0.05 and <0.0001). cIMT correlated positively with pre-peritoneal fat, particularly at 6 years. Post-SGA status and weight gain in early childhood (between 3 and 6 years) were independent predictors of cIMT at 6 years, explaining 48% of its variance.
Conclusion: SGA children aged 36 years were found to have a thicker intima-media and more pre-peritoneal and hepatic fat than AGA children of comparable size.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology