We investigated the relationship between IGF-I, gender, height, weight, body composition and birth size in 260 healthy 7- and 8-year-old children (139 females). All children were born term at Nepean Hospital, Western Sydney. Body composition was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. IGF-I levels were determined by radioimmunoassay. Girls had higher IGF-I levels than boys (20.2 +/- 6.5 nmol/l compared to 15.9 +/- 6.1 nmol/l, p < 0.001) but there was no correlation between age and IGF-I. IGF-I was positively correlated with height SDS (R(2) = 0.12), weight SDS (R(2) = 0.19), BMI SDS (R(2) = 0.18), total body fat (%) (R(2) = 0.14), and fat-free tissue/cm (R(2) = 0.03). After adjusting for gender and current weight, IGF-I-levels were inversely related to birth size - children with the lowest birth size and heaviest current weight had the highest IGF-I levels. This correlation between birth weight and IGF-I supports the hypothesis that the IGF-I axis is altered in babies who are small for gestational age.
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