For a study, researchers sought to look at the links between baby weight increase patterns and coronary heart disease (CHD).
They tracked 3,645 Danish people born between 1959 and 1961 and collected weight data at birth, 2 weeks, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 12 months. Latent class modeling was used to produce sex-specific weight trajectories. CHD cases (n=279) were identified using national health records. The HRs were calculated using Cox regression with sequential adjustments for gender, socioeconomic status, prepregnancy BMI, maternal smoking, preterm delivery, parity, and birth weight.
In the cohort, they found five weight-development trajectories: very low-moderate rise (11.5% of the population), low-marked increase (13.9%), low-stable increase (32.4%), average-stable increase (29.8%), and high-moderate increase (12.4%). A very low-moderately growing weight trajectory in infancy was related to a greater incidence of adult CHD compared to the average-stable increasing trajectory (HR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.04-2.33). The greater frequency persisted after controlling for maternal variables, although it was modestly reduced after adjusting for preterm delivery and parity (HR, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.91-2.23) and eliminated after controlling for birth weight (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.44-1.37). The correlations with CHD were the same for all trajectories except the average-stable rising trajectory.
Although a pattern of extremely low-moderate growing weight throughout infancy was linked with an increased risk of adult CHD, the connection did not hold after birth weight correction, emphasizing the relevance of prenatal exposures.