Objectives: To examine patterns of non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in early childhood and identify factors associated with persistent high non-HDL cholesterol in healthy urban children.
Study design: We identified all children enrolled in a primary care practice-based research network called TARGet Kids! (The Applied Research Group for Kids) with ≥3 laboratory measurements of non-HDL cholesterol. Latent class growth model analysis was performed to identify distinct trajectory groups for non-HDL cholesterol. Trajectory groups were then categorized into "normal" vs "persistent-high" non-HDL cholesterol based on guideline cut-off values and logistic regression was completed to examine the association between trajectory group and the presence of anthropometric and cardiometabolic risk factors.
Results: A total of 608 children met inclusion criteria for the trajectory analysis (median age at enrolment = 18.3, IQR = 27.9 months). Four trajectory groups were identified with 2 groups (n = 451) categorized as normal non-HDL cholesterol and 2 groups (n = 157) as persistent high non-HDL cholesterol. Family history of high cholesterol (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.27-3.28) was associated significantly with persistent high non-HDL cholesterol, whereas East/Southeast Asian vs European ethnicity (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.14-0.78), longer breastfeeding duration (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93-1.00), and greater birth weight (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.48-1.00) were associated with lower odds of persistent high non-HDL cholesterol.
Conclusions: Patterns of non-HDL cholesterol are identified during early childhood, and family history of high cholesterol was associated most strongly with persistent high non-HDL cholesterol. Future research should inform the development of a clinical prediction tool for lipids in early childhood to identify children who may benefit from interventions to promote cardiovascular health.
Keywords: cardiovascular; lipids; trajectory; trends.
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