To assess the annual rate of change in adiposity and its relationship to concomitant changes in cardiovascular risk variables during childhood and young adulthood, serial data on black and white children (n = 3,459; initial and follow-up mean age, 8.1 and 14.4 years) and young adults (n = 1,263; initial and follow-up mean age, 22.5 and 30.9 years) enrolled in the Bogalusa Heart Study were examined. Body mass index (BMI) and sum of subscapular and triceps skinfolds were used as indicators of adiposity. In addition, measurements were made of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and fasting levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and glucose. Annualized rate of change for each variable was estimated. The rate of increase in adiposity was significantly more pronounced during childhood versus adulthood. Race difference (blacks > whites) in the rate of increase in adiposity was seen only among females. Females, black females in particular, displayed greater rate of increase in adiposity than males. In a multivariate analysis, the rate of increase in adiposity was related independently of baseline age and baseline adiposity to adverse changes in measured cardiovascular risk variables, except glucose. Many of these associations were modulated significantly by race, sex, and age group. The impact was relatively greater for blood pressure and LDL cholesterol in adults and for triglycerides in children. The changes in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol were greater in whites, while the rate of increase in insulin was greater in blacks. Females displayed greater changes in blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, and insulin. On the other hand, the rate of increase in triglycerides was greater in males. These results indicate that increases in adiposity regardless of initial status of body fatness alter cardiovascular risk variables towards increased risk beginning in childhood, and that this deleterious trend underscores the importance of weight control early in life.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company