ISGlobal: Growth in first three years of life affects respiratory health in children

ISGlobal: Growth in first three years of life affects respiratory health in children

News from ISGlobal

Children’s growth in the first three years of life affects thedevelopment of theirlungs and the risk of asthmaat 10 years of age. This is the main conclusion of a new study carried out by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Early infancy is a critical age for the subsequent development of respiratory diseases in childhood and later life. Recent studies have shown that excessive weight gain in the first years of life can be associated with lower lung function and a higher risk of childhood asthma.

The new study, published in Thorax , examined whether early childhood growth patterns—ascertained by taking repeated weight and height measurements during the first three years of the child’s life—affected respiratory health at the age of 10 years. The growth patterns analysed were peak height and weight growth velocities, which occur at around one month of age, and body mass index at adiposity peak, which occurs at around nine months of age.

The study tracked 4,435 children in the Netherlands participating in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study, from birth until 10 years of age. The participants’ weight and height were measured multiple times during the first three years of life. At age 10 years, spirometry was performed to assess the children’s lung function and the parents answered a questionnaire designed to determine whether their child had been diagnosed with asthma by a physician.

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Casas M, den Dekker HT, Kruithof CJ, Reiss IK, Vrijheid M, Sunyer J, de Jongste JC, Jaddoe VWV, Duijts L. The effect of early growth patterns and lung function on the development of childhood asthma: a population based study. Thorax. 2018 Jul 31. pii: thoraxjnl-2017-211216. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2017-211216