Lipid profiles in adolescent Filipinos: relation to birth weight and maternal energy status during pregnancy.

Christopher W. Kuzawa*, Linda S. Adair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The finding that persons with low birth weight have a higher cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than do persons with higher birth weight remains poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that maternal arm fat area (MAFA) in the third trimester of pregnancy and birth weight of offspring are inversely related to the offspring's risk of CVD. DESIGN: In a 1-y birth cohort study (1983-1984), 296 male and 307 female offspring were followed up (1998-1999) to measure their lipid profiles. Participants came from randomly selected communities of Cebu, Philippines. RESULTS: MAFA (log cm2) was positively associated (beta) with HDL cholesterol (0.12 log mg/dL; P < 0.01) and inversely associated with total cholesterol (-10.0 mg/dL; P < 0.10), LDL cholesterol (-13.1 mg/dL; P < 0.01), and the ratios of total to HDL cholesterol and LDL to HDL cholesterol (both P < 0.001) in males. These relations were independent of birth weight, present adiposity, energy and fat intakes, maturity, and income. Birth weight < or = 2.6 kg was associated with elevated LDL cholesterol (9.9 mg/dL; P < 0.01) and an elevated ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol (0.22; P < 0.10) only in males. In females, MAFA related positively to total (15.5 mg/dL; P < 0.05) and LDL (11.9 mg/dL; P < 0.05) cholesterol. CONCLUSIONS: In this Filipino population, mothers with low energy status during pregnancy gave birth to male offspring who had a high CVD risk in adolescence, as indicated by lipid profiles. The findings in females are less consistent with the fetal origins hypothesis and suggest sex differences in the relation between fetal nutrition and postnatal lipid metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-966
Number of pages7
JournalThe American journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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