Circulating insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 levels, independent of insulin-like growth factor 1, associate with truncal fat and systolic blood pressure in south asian and white european preschool children

Leena Patel, Andrew Whatmore, Jill Davies, Narinder Bansal, Avni Vyas, Isla Gemmell, John Oldroyd, J. Kennedy Cruickshank, Peter Clayton

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Aims: To study the effect of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system on growth, adiposity and systolic blood pressure (SBP) in early life in British-born South Asian (SA) and White European (WE) children. Methods: The effect of IGF-1 and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) over the first 4 years in 204 healthy SA and WE children was investigated by mixed linear regression modelling. This enabled inclusion of all follow-up observations and adjustment for repeated measures. Results: At birth, SA babies were shorter and lighter than WE babies. Over 4 years, SA ethnicity was associated with lower height, weight and body mass index (BMI) standard deviation score (SDS), higher subscapular/triceps skinfold thickness (Ss/Tr SFT) and lower SBP (all p < 0.01). IGF-1 was associated with greater height (p = 0.03), weight (p < 0.001) and BMI SDS (p < 0.001), and IGFBP-3 with greater weight SDS (p < 0.001), BMI SDS (p = 0.001), Ss/Tr SFT (p = 0.003) and SBP (p = 0.023). Conclusions: Over this first 4-year period of life, SA ethnicity was associated with being shorter, lighter, having more superficial truncal adiposity and lower SBP. IGFBP-3 (and not IGF-1) was independently associated with both superficial truncal adiposity and SBP, suggesting that IGFBP-3 is a potential metabolic and cardiovascular marker in healthy children in the early years of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnicity
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1
  • Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3
  • Systolic blood pressure
  • Truncal fat

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