Life course associations of height, weight, fatness, grip strength, and all-cause mortality for high socioeconomic status Guatemalans
The objective of this study was to investigate the association between physical growth in preadult life with five outcomes at ages 64 to 76: weight, body mass index (BMI), estimated body fat percentage, hand grip strength, and mortality.
Super-imposition by translation and rotation (SITAR) growth curves of 40 484 Guatemalan individuals aged 3 to 19 years were modeled for the parameters of size, timing and intensity (peak growth velocity, eg, cm/year) of height, weight, BMI, and grip strength. Associations between the SITAR parameters and old age outcomes were tested using linear and binary logistic regression for a follow-up sample of high socioeconomic status (SES) Guatemalans, of whom 50 were aged 64 to 76 years at re-measurement and 45 died prior to the year 2017.
SITAR models explained 69% to 98% of the variance in each outcome, with height the most precise. Individuals in the follow-up sample who had a higher BMI before the age of 20 years had higher estimated body fat (B = 1.4 CI -0.02-2.8) and BMI (B = 1.2, CI 0.2-2.2) at the ages of 64 to 76 years. Those who grew slower in height but faster in weight and BMI before the age of 20 years had higher BMI and body fat later in life.
These findings highlight the importance of a life course perspective on health and mortality risk. Childhood exposures leading to variation in preadult growth may be key to better understanding health and mortality risks in old age.