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.
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- LOW-BIRTH-WEIGHT, BODY-COMPOSITION, BLOOD-PRESSURE, MICROVASCULAR FUNCTION, VASCULAR DYSFUNCTION, RISK-FACTORS, CATCH-UP, CHILDREN, GAIN, CHILDHOOD