Rapid Infant Weight Gain and Advanced Skeletal Maturation in Childhood

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Objective: To test the hypothesis that rapid infant weight gain is associated with advanced skeletal maturity in children from the United States and South Africa. Study design: Longitudinal data from 467 appropriate-for-gestational-age infants in the Fels Longitudinal Growth Study (Dayton, Ohio) and 196 appropriate-for-gestational-age infants in the Birth to Twenty birth cohort study (Johannesburg, South Africa) were used. Multiple linear regression models tested the association between internal SD score change in weight from 0 to 2 years and relative skeletal age at 9 years, adjusting for body mass index, stature, and other covariates. Results: In both studies, faster infant weight gain was associated with more advanced skeletal maturity (approximately 0.2 years or 2.4 months per SD score) at age 9 years (P <.0001-.005), even when adjusting for the positive associations of both birth weight and body mass index at age 9 years. This effect appeared to be accounted for by the greater childhood stature of subjects with more rapid infant weight gain. Conclusions: Relatively rapid infant weight-gain is associated with advanced skeletal development in late childhood, perhaps via effects on stature. © 2009 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.




Demerath, E. W., Jones, L. L., Hawley, N. L., Norris, S. A., Pettifor, J. M., Duren, D., … Cameron, N. (2009). Rapid Infant Weight Gain and Advanced Skeletal Maturation in Childhood. Journal of Pediatrics, 155(3), 355–361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.03.016

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