Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The role of early growth in later health is controversial. We examined the associations of growth at different phases from birth to puberty with blood pressure and lipid profile at ~17.5 years. In the population-representative "Children of 1997" birth cohort, growth was measured as (i) weight-for-age z score (WAZ) at birth and WAZ gains from 0 to 2 and 2 to 8 years and (ii) body-mass-index-for-age z score (BAZ) and length/height-for-age z score (LAZ) at 3 months and BAZ and LAZ gains from 3 months to 3 years, 3 to 8 years and 8 to 14 years, based on the World Health Organization growth standards/references. Adjusted partial least squares regression was used to assess simultaneously the associations of growth with height-, age- and sex-specific systolic (SBPZ) and diastolic blood pressure z scores (DBPZ), low- (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides (TG) at ~17.5 years. Among 3410 children, higher WAZ, BAZ and LAZ gains from initial size to 8 years were associated with higher SBPZ. Higher gains in WAZ and BAZ from 2 to 8 years were consistently associated with higher DBPZ, LDL and TG and lower HDL. Lower LAZ at 3 months and higher LAZ gain from 3 months to 3 years were associated with lower HDL and higher TG. Greater growth in weight, body mass index and length/height had negative associations with blood pressure and lipid profile at ~17.5 years, but the differences by growth measure, phase and outcome suggest a complex underlying process.

Original publication




Journal article


Hypertension research : official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension

Publication Date





419 - 427


School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China.


Humans, Body Weight, Lipids, Triglycerides, Lipoproteins, HDL, Lipoproteins, LDL, Body Mass Index, Body Height, Cohort Studies, Growth, Sexual Maturation, Blood Pressure, Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Hong Kong, Female, Male, Young Adult