Background: Data are limited regarding the association of cumulative burden and trajectory of body mass index (BMI) from early life with adult lipid disorders. Methods: The study cohort consisted of 5195 adults who had BMI repeatedly measured 4 to 21 times from childhood and had blood lipid measurements of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) and information on lipid-lowering medications in the last adult survey. The area under the curve (AUC) was calculated as a measure of long-term burden (total AUC) and trends (incremental AUC) of BMI. Results: Participants with dyslipidemia, high LDL-C, low HDL-C and high TG had consistently and significantly higher BMI levels from childhood to adulthood compared to those with normal lipid levels. After adjusting for age, race, sex, and cohort, increased risk of adult dyslipidemia was significantly associated with higher values of childhood BMI, adulthood BMI, total AUC and incremental AUC, with odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 1.22 (1.15-1.29), 1.85 (1.74-1.97), 1.61 (1.52-1.71), and 1.59 (1.50-1.69), respectively, and p < 0.001 for all. The association patterns were similar in most race-sex subgroups. Conclusions: Adults with dyslipidemia versus normal lipid levels have consistently higher levels and distinct life-course trajectories of BMI, suggesting that the impact of excessive body weight on dyslipidemia originates in early life.
Keywords: body mass index; childhood; dyslipidemia; longitudinal study.