Background: Greater infant weight gain is associated with lower lung function and increased risk of childhood asthma. The role of early childhood peak growth patterns is unclear. We assessed the associations of individually derived early childhood peak growth patterns with respiratory resistance, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, wheezing patterns, and asthma until school-age. Methods: We performed a population-based prospective cohort study among 5364 children. Repeated growth measurements between 0 and 3 years of age were used to derive standard deviation scores (s.d.s) of peak height and weight velocities (PHV and PWV, respectively), and body mass index (BMI) and age at adiposity peak. Respiratory resistance and fractional exhaled nitric oxide were measured at 6 years of age. Wheezing patterns and asthma were prospectively assessed by annual questionnaires. We also assessed whether any association was explained by childhood weight status. Results: Greater PHV was associated with lower respiratory resistance [Z-score (95% CI): -0.03 (-0.04, -0.01) per s.d.s increase] (n = 3382). Greater PWV and BMI at adiposity peak were associated with increased risks of early wheezing [relative risk ratio (95% CI): 1.11 (1.06, 1.16), 1.26 (1.11, 1.43), respectively] and persistent wheezing [relative risk ratio (95% CI): 1.09 (1.03, 1.16), 1.37 (1.17, 1.60), respectively] (n = 3189 and n = 3005, respectively). Childhood weight status partly explained these associations. No other associations were observed. Conclusions: PWV and BMI at adiposity peak are critical for lung developmental and risk of school-age wheezing. Follow-up studies at older ages are needed to elucidate whether these effects persist at later ages.

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Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Generation R Study Group

Casas, M., den Dekker, H., Kruithof, C., Reiss, I., Vrijheid, M., de Jongste, J., … Duijts, L. (2016). Early childhood growth patterns and school-age respiratory resistance, fractional exhaled nitric oxide and asthma. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 27(8), 854–860. doi:10.1111/pai.12645