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Earlier Adiposity Ups Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Update Date: Dec 27, 2013 05:53 PM EST

Body fatness normally declines to a minimum at age five to six years old, a point called adiposity rebound.  However, new research reveals that adiposity rebound before the age of four may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome, which involves a group of conditions like higher blood pressure, blood sugar level, excess belly fat and abnormal cholesterol levels, can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Japanese researchers at Dokkyo Medical University in Tochigi wanted to see if there is a link between the age of adiposity rebound and metabolic syndrome risk, according to HealthDay.

Lead researcher Dr. Satomi Koyama collected measurements of body mass index for 271 children at the ages of four, eight, 12, 18 and 24 months and every year through age 12. Researcher calculated the age of adiposity rebound by looking at BMI measures, plasma lipids and blood pressure at age 12.

The findings linked earlier AR (before age 4) to higher BMI (≥20 kg/m²) and a lipoprotein phenotype indicating insulin resistance. Researchers explained that this phenotype consisted of elevated triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, and atherogenic index. The phenotype was also associated with lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high blood pressure in boys and elevated apolipoprotein B in girls at age 12.

"Detection of early AR may permit identification of young children at risk for developing later metabolic syndrome and provide an opportunity for preventive intervention," researchers wrote in the study.

Previous studies also found that children who experienced earlier adiposity rebound were more likley to be obese.

The findings are published in the journal Pediatrics.

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