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Fat-free mass mediates the association between birth weight and aerobic fitness in youth
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2011 (English)In: International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, ISSN 1747-7166, E-ISSN 1747-7174, Vol. 6, no 2-2, p. E590-E596Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective. To investigate whether birth weight acts as a biological determinant of later aerobic fitness, and whether fat-free mass may mediate this association. Methods. The European Youth Heart Study (EYHS) is a population-based cohort of two age groups (9 and 15 years) from Denmark, Portugal, Estonia and Norway. Children with parentally reported birth weight >1.5 kg were included (n = 2 749). Data were collected on weight, height, and skinfold measures to estimate fat mass and fat-free mass. Aerobic fitness (peak power, watts) was assessed using a maximal, progressive cycle ergometer test. Physical activity was collected in a subset (n = 1 505) using a hip-worn accelerometer and defined as total activity counts/wear time, all children with >600 minutes/day for >= 3 days of wear were included. Results. Lower birth weight was associated with lower aerobic fitness, after adjusting for sex, age group, country, sexual maturity and socio-economic status (beta = 5.4; 95% CI: 3.5, 7.3 W per 1 kg increase in birth weight, p < 0.001). When fat-free mass was introduced as a covariate in the model, the association between birth weight and aerobic fitness was almost completely attenuated (p = 0.7). Birth weight was also significantly associated with fat-free mass (beta = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1, 1.8, p < 0.001) and fat-free mass was significantly associated with aerobic fitness (beta = 3.6; 95% CI: 3.4, 3.7, p < 0.001). Further adjustment for physical activity did not alter the findings. Conclusion. Birth weight may have long-term influences on fat-free mass and differences in fat-free mass mediate the observed association between birth weight and aerobic fitness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 6, no 2-2, p. E590-E596
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
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URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-18697DOI: 10.3109/17477166.2010.526225ISI: 000292704500072OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-18697DiVA, id: diva2:444647
Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Ekelund, Ulf

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