Background/Objectives: An association between an unfavorable lipid profile and low birth weight has been reported, although this association remains controversial. We hypothesized that birth size does not have any influence on serum lipid levels but fat accumulation during childhood has. Methods: In the PROgramming factors for GRowth And Metabolism study, a cohort of 297 young adults, aged 18-24 yr, the influence of clinical parameters on total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, lipoprotein a, and apolipoprotein (apo) A-1 and apoB was analyzed with multiple regression modeling. In addition, differences in these lipid levels and ApoE genotype prevalence were analyzed in four subgroups: young adults either born small for gestational age with short stature or with catch-up growth, or born appropriate for gestational age with idiopathic short stature or with normal stature (controls). Results: Birth length SD score (SDS) and birth weight SDS were no significant determinants of the serum lipid levels, whereas gender, ApoE genotype, adult height SDS, adult weight SDS, and fat mass were. Comparison of the subgroups showed that small for gestational age with short stature subjects had a significantly higher apoB than controls. There were no other significant differences in lipid levels or ApoE genotype prevalence among the four subgroups. Conclusions: ApoE genotype is an important genetic determinant of lipid levels in young adulthood. Furthermore, fat accumulation during childhood significantly determines serum lipid levels, whereas birth size has no significant contribution. For public health practice, this means that parents and their children need to be informed about the risks of fat accumulation during childhood. Copyright

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Journal Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
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Leunissen, R.W.J, Kerkhof, G.F, Stijnen, Th, & Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S. (2008). Fat mass and apolipoprotein E genotype influence serum lipoprotein levels in early adulthood, whereas birth size does not. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 93(11), 4307–4314. doi:10.1210/jc.2008-0621