Predicting the risk of newborn children to become overweight later in childhood: The PIAMA birth cohort study
Objective. To develop a decision rule by which children with a high risk to develop overweight can be distinguished at birth from children at low risk. Design, setting and participants. Data of 1 687 Dutch children born in 1996/1997 who participated in the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) longitudinal birth cohort study were analysed. Perinatal candidate predictors of overweight at 8 years of age were selected and a prediction model was developed using stepwise model selection based on the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). The prediction model was internally validated using resampling techniques. Outcome measure. Overweight at the age of 8 years. Results. A total of 13.9% (n = 253) of the children were overweight at 8 years of age. Independent positive predictors of overweight were paternal and maternal body mass index, female gender, smoking in the parental house, birth weight and hospital delivery. From the model, a decision rule was derived by which an overweight score could be calculated. Of the children with an overweight score below 89.45, only 2.7% were overweight at the age of 8, whereas in children with an overweight score above 105.02 the prevalence of overweight was 35.4%. Conclusion. The risk of overweight at the age of 8 years can be predicted with six characteristics that are available at birth. The decision rule developed in this study may help to target early preventive measures against overweight in high-risk children.