Journal Article

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

Bitiya Admassu, Christian Ritz, Jonathan CK Wells, Tsinuel Girma, Gregers S Andersen, Tefera Belachew, Victor Owino, Kim F Michaelsen, Mubarek Abera, Rasmus Wibaek, Henrik Friis and Pernille Kæstel

in The Journal of Nutrition

Published on behalf of American Society for Nutrition

Volume 148, issue 4, pages 607-615
Published in print April 2018 | ISSN: 0022-3166
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 1541-6100 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxy003
Accretion of Fat-Free Mass Rather Than Fat Mass in Infancy Is Positively Associated with Linear Growth in Childhood

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  • Medicine and Health
  • Dietetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Food Microbiology
  • Gut Microbiology

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Abstract

Background

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.

Objective

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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; = 0.005) and linear growth from 1 to 5 y (β = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.19, 1.07; = 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; = 0.038) in the fully adjusted model.

Conclusions

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.

Keywords: fat-free mass; fat mass; body composition; linear growth; height; length; children

Journal Article.  7262 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Dietetics ; Biochemistry ; Food Microbiology ; Gut Microbiology

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