ESPE Abstracts (2015) 84 P-2-386

The Sequence of Prenatal Growth Restraint and Postnatal Catch-Up Growth Leads to a Thicker Intima Media and More Pre-Peritoneal and Hepatic Fat by Age 3-6 Years

Giorgia Sebastiania, Marta Díaza, Judit Bassolsb, Abel Lopez-Bermejob, Francis De Zegherc & Lourdes Ibañeza


aSant Joan de Déu Hospital, Barcelona, Spain; bDr Josep Trueta Hospital, Girona, Spain; cUniversity of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium


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 3–6 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 3–6 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 3–6 years were found to have a thicker intima-media and more pre-peritoneal and hepatic fat than AGA children of comparable size.

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