Maternal diabetes mellitus (DM) affects fetal growth and we sought to examine the impact of birth weight category on growth in the first 3 years of life. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 787 women with gestational (n=629) or pre-gestational DM (n=158). Maternal characteristics and perinatal outcomes, as well as childhood height and weight through age 3, were collected. Bivariate and multivariable linear regression analyses were used to assess factors associated with early childhood growth.

We compared weight z-scores and BMI at 6 months, 1, 2, and 3 years of age among those born small for gestational status (SGA) (n=71), adequate for gestational age (AGA) (n=619) and large for gestational age (LGA) (n=97). Weight z-scores and BMI at all time points were higher in infants born LGA and lower among those with SGA birth weight. BMI >85th percentile at age 3 was more common in offspring born LGA compared to those born AGA or SGA (44.57 vs. 21.09 vs. 12.9%, p<0.001). After adjusting for covariates, birth weight category remained significantly associated with BMI at ages 2 and 3 (Table).

Our findings suggest that birth weight category is a significant predictor of early childhood growth, and interventions that reduce the prevalence of LGA birth weight or optimize early childhood nutrition may impact long-term obesity risks.

M.N. Feghali: None. S. Caritis: None. C.M. Scifres: None.


National Institutes of Health (K23HD092893)

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