Background: The aim of this study was to identify distinct trajectories of BMI growth from 2 to 7.5 years and examine their associations with markers of cardiometabolic risk at age 7.5 years among a sample of low-income Mexican American children. Methods: This longitudinal cohort study recruited 322 mother–child dyads to participate prenatally and at child age 2, 3, 4.5, 6, and 7.5 years. Child height/weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure were assessed at each time point. Blood was collected from child at 7.5 years. Results: Covarying for birthweight, three BMI trajectories were identified: Low-Stable BMI (73% of the sample), High-Stable BMI (5.6% of the sample), and Increasing BMI over time (21.4% of the sample). The High-Stable and Increasing BMI classes had higher waist circumference and systolic blood pressure and lower HDL-c than the Low-Stable BMI class (ps < 0.05). Among children with BMIs below the 85th percentile, 16% had three or more cardiometabolic risk indicators. Conclusions: BMI classes were consistent with existing literature. For youth, standard medical practice is to examine cardiometabolic risk indicators when BMI is high; however, this practice would miss 16% of youth in our sample who exhibit cardiometabolic risk but do not screen in based on BMI. Impact: Research indicates Mexican American youth are at risk for cardiometabolic dysregulation relative to other ethnic groups, yet there is a paucity of longitudinal research.An Increasing BMI and a High-Stable BMI class were associated with larger waist circumference, higher systolic blood pressure, and lower HDL cholesterol than the Low-Stable BMI class.BMI trajectories in childhood predict cardiometabolic risk indicators. As the sole screener for deciding when to test cardiometabolic indicators, BMI alone will miss some children exhibiting cardiometabolic dysregulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health