The age of adiposity rebound (AR) is defined as the time at which BMI starts to rise after infancy and is thought to be a marker of later obesity. To determine whether this age is related to future occurrence of metabolic syndrome, we investigated the relationship of the timing of AR with metabolic consequences at 12 years of age.
A total of 271 children (147 boys and 124 girls) born in 1995 and 1996 were enrolled in the study. Serial measurements of BMI were conducted at the ages of 4 and 8 months and 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 years, based on which age of AR was calculated. Plasma lipids and blood pressure were measured at 12 years of age.
An earlier AR (<4 years of age) was associated with a higher BMI (≥20) and a lipoprotein phenotype representative of insulin resistance. This phenotype consists of elevated triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, and atherogenic index and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in boys and elevated apolipoprotein B in girls at 12 years of age. The earlier AR was also related to elevated blood pressure in boys.
This longitudinal population-based study indicates that children who exhibit AR at a younger age are predisposed to future development of metabolic syndrome. Therefore, monitoring of AR may be an effective method for the early identification of children at risk for metabolic syndrome.