Growth and Endothelial Function in the First 2 Years of Life

R.N.H. Touwslager*, A.J.H.M. Houben, F.E.S. Tan, M. Gielen, M.P. Zeegers, C.D.A. Stehouwer, W.J.M. Gerver, K.R. Westerterp, L. Wouters, C.E. Blanco, L.J. Zimmermann, A.L.M. Mulder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

70 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that the inverse association between infant growth and endothelial function at 6 months would persist to 24 months and that accelerated growth would lead to an increased percent body fat, which would, in turn, impact negatively on endothelial function. STUDY DESIGN: In a prospective observational study, 104 healthy term newborns underwent anthropometry and measurements of vascular vasodilation at 0, 6, 12, and 24 months. We recorded maximum vasodilation in response to acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent) and nitroprusside (endothelium-independent) by use of laser-Doppler vascular perfusion monitoring of the forearm skin vasculature. Additional anthropometry at 1 and 3 months was collected from child welfare centers. The data were analyzed by multilevel linear regression. RESULTS: Weight gain from 0-1 month was associated inversely with maximum perfusion in response to acetylcholine at the age of 2 years (b = -8.28 perfusion units [PU] per Delta z-score, P = .03). Weight gain from 0-1 month was related positively to maximum perfusion in response to nitroprusside (b = 10.12 PU per Delta z-score, P = .04), as was birth weight (b = 8.02 PU per z-score, P = .02). Body fat percentage did not have a significant effect in any of the perfusion models and was not related to maximum perfusion at 2 years. CONCLUSION: Infant weight gain from 0-1 month is inversely related to endothelial function in healthy term infants, at least to the age of 2 years. This relationship was not explained by an increased percentage body fat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-671.e1
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • GAIN

Cite this