Associations of growth from birth to puberty with glycemic indicators at ~17.5 years: Evidence from Hong Kong's “Children of 1997” birth cohort

Tuck Seng Cheng, Gabriel M. Leung, Lai Ling Hui, June Yue Yan Leung, Man Ki Kwok, Shiu Lun Au Yeung, C. Mary Schooling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: From an evolutionary biology perspective, where growth and reproduction trade-off against longevity, we assessed the associations of growth from birth to puberty by phase with later glycemic indicators and any differences by sex. Methods: In the population-representative Hong Kong Chinese “Children of 1997” birth cohort (n = 8327), the relation of initial size (weight-for-age z score (WAZ) at birth, length/height-for-age z score (LAZ) at 3 months or body-mass-index-for-age z score (BAZ) at 3 months based on the World Health Organization growth standards/references) and growth at different phases (WAZ gains from 0 to 2 and 2 to 8 years, LAZ or BAZ gains from 3 months to 3 years, 3 to 8 years and 8 to 14 years) with fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at ~17.5 years, was assessed using adjusted partial least squares regression. Additional analyses further considered growth in late and early infancy. Results: This study included 3276 of the cohort participants. Higher WAZ gain from 2 to 8 years, LAZ and BAZ gains from 3 to 8 years were consistently associated with higher FPG, adjusted for maternal and infant characteristics, family history of diabetes and household income. Also, higher BAZ gain from 3 to 8 years was associated with higher HbA1c. These associations did not differ by sex. Conclusions: Our findings suggest different mechanisms could underlie the pathogenesis of glucose intolerance. Factors that drive specific growth at different phases need to be evaluated to better inform child growth management for long-term health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • BMI
  • HbA1c
  • fasting plasma glucose
  • length/height
  • weight


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations of growth from birth to puberty with glycemic indicators at ~17.5 years: Evidence from Hong Kong's “Children of 1997” birth cohort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this