Original articles

Influence of birthweight and current body mass on cardiovascular risk factors in young adults

Dorota Szostak-Węgierek, Katarzyna Szamotulska, Irena Stolarska
Published online: March 01, 2007


Introduction. Results of other studies indicate at increased predisposition of metabolic diseases in the adulthood in subjects born with low birthweight.

Objectives. To estimate the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in adults in relation to birthweight and current body mass.

Patients and methods. The study was performed in 498 subjects aged 24–29 years, born in Warsaw in 1974–1977, whose mothers during pregnancy participated in a prospective study of risk factors of low birthweight. Basic anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were performed; total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, fibrinogen and glycosylated hemoglobin were determined in the blood.

Results. 1) In males body mass index (BMI) and indices of abdominal fat distribution (WHR, waist circumference) correlated positively with the insulin resistance index, blood insulin level, glycated hemoglobin, glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, fibrinogen and also blood pressure, and negativelely with HDL-cholesterol. In females BMI, WHR and waist circumference correlated significantly only with the insulin resistance index, and blood levels of insulin, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and fibrinogen. 2) In males birthweight correlated negatively only with the insulin resistance index and serum insulin level. In females such correlations were not observed. 3) Logistic regression analysis revealed that obesity, particularly abdominal, was a stronger predictor of increased insulin resistance than birthweight.

Conclusions. In young males abdominal obesity is a much stronger determinant of coronary risk factors than birthweight.

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