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Does low birth weight affect the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese children?


Recent findings suggest that low-birth-weight children with current obesity are more likely to have higher systolic blood pressure levels and impaired β-cell function than those who are obese with normal birth weight. It seems possible, however, that concurrent low birth weight with excess weight gain can exacerbate other risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of birth weight on the lipid/apolipoprotein profile, visfatin levels, and insulin parameters in overweight/obese children. A cross-sectional study of 68 overweight/obese children was conducted. Among these children, 28 were identified with low birth weight and 40 were of normal birth weight. Blood lipid profile, apolipoproteins, visfatin, glucose, and insulin were measured. Our results show that systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels, triglycerides (TG), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc), apolipoprotein B and E, insulin, apolipoprotein B/A1 ratio, and homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were significantly elevated in overweight/obese low-birth-weight (LBW) children. There was a significant association of the SBP levels with TG (P = 0.027), LDLc (P = 0.001), HOMA-IR (P < 0.001), apolipoprotein B (P = 0.001), and apolipoprotein E (P = 0.039). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that LBW children with overweight or obesity have an additional risk factor for both atherogenic and insulinogenic profile.

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Cardiovascular disease


Low birth weight


Body mass index


Overweight/obese LBW children


Overweight/obese normal-birth-weight children


Abdominal circumference


Systolic blood pressure


Diastolic blood pressure


Total cholesterol


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol




Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Homeostasis model assessment




Coefficient of variation


Analysis of covariance


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This research has been supported by FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil) (project number: 07/58044-2).

Conflict of interest

None declared.

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Correspondence to Maria C. P. Franco.

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Ponzio, C., Palomino, Z., Puccini, R.F. et al. Does low birth weight affect the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese children?. Eur J Pediatr 172, 1687–1692 (2013).

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  • Birth weight
  • Overweight
  • Obesity
  • Apolipoprotein
  • Visfatin
  • Children