University of Oulu

Perkiömäki, N., Auvinen, J., Tulppo, M.P. et al. Childhood growth patterns and cardiovascular autonomic modulation in midlife: Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study. Int J Obes 43, 2264–2272 (2019).

Childhood growth patterns and cardiovascular autonomic modulation in midlife : Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort study

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Author: Perkiömäki, Nelli1; Auvinen, Juha2,3; Tulppo, Mikko P.1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Unit of Primary Health Care, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5NordLab Oulu, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC–PHE Centre for Environment & Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
8Department of Life Sciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-08-04


Objectives: To test the hypothesis that age and body mass index (BMI) at BMI peak during infancy and at BMI rebound in childhood are related to cardiovascular autonomic modulation in adulthood.

Methods: At the age of 46 years, a sample (n = 5861) of the participants of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 took part in follow-up examinations. Heart rate variability (HRV), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and low-frequency oscillations of systolic blood pressure (LFSBP) were measured during sympathetic stimulus by standing. BMI at various ages was calculated from frequent anthropometric measurements collected from child welfare clinical records. BRS and LFSBP were available for 1243 participants with BMI peak data and 1524 participants with BMI rebound data, and HRV for 2137 participants with BMI peak data and 2688 participants with BMI rebound data.

Results: Age at BMI rebound had a significant inverse association with LFSBP (beta = −0.071, p = 0.006) after all adjustments (p < 0.001) and was also directly associated with BRS (beta = 0.082, p = 0.001) independently of birth and maternal factors (p = 0.023). BMI at BMI peak and at BMI rebound was inversely associated with high-frequency component of HRV (HF) (beta = −0.045, p = 0.036 for BMI at peak; beta = −0.043, p = 0.024 for BMI at rebound) and directly associated with the ratio of low- and high-frequency components of HRV (LF/HF ratio) (beta = 0.084, p = < 0.001 for BMI at peak; beta = 0.069, p < 0.001 for BMI at rebound). These associations remained significant after all adjustments (p < 0.05 for all).

Conclusions: This novel study shows that younger age at BMI rebound and higher BMI at BMI peak and at BMI rebound are associated with higher levels in markers suggestive of augmented sympathetic and reduced vagal cardiovascular modulation in midlife.

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Series: International journal of obesity
ISSN: 0307-0565
ISSN-E: 1476-5497
ISSN-L: 0307-0565
Volume: 43
Issue: 11
Pages: 2264 - 2272
DOI: 10.1038/s41366-019-0333-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: Supported by the Academy of Finland (no. 267435 and 285547), Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (633595, EU H2020-PHC-2014 633595, DynaHEALTH, EU H2020-SC1-2016-2017, LIFECYCLE, EU H2020-HCO-2014, iHEALTH), Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Oulu University Scholarship Foundation and Paulo Foundation. NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu (Grant No. 24000692), Oulu University Hospital (Grant No. 24301140) and ERDF European Regional Development Fund (Grant no. 539/2010 A31592).
EU Grant Number: (633595) DYNAHEALTH - Understanding the dynamic determinants of glucose homeostasis and social capability to promote Healthy and active aging
(643774) iHealth-T2D - Family-based intervention to improve healthy lifestyle and prevent Type 2 Diabetes amongst South Asians with central obesity and prediabetes
(733206) LIFECYCLE - Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 267435
Detailed Information: 267435 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
285547 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 The authors. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in International Journal of Obesity. The final authenticated version is available online at: