Biomarkers of systemic inflammation and growth in early infancy are associated with stunting in young Tanzanian children
Manji, Karim P.
McDonald, Christine M.
Fawzi, Wafaie W.
Duggan, Christopher P.
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Citation (published version)Sana Syed, Karim P Manji, Christine M McDonald, Rodrick Kisenge, Said Aboud, Christopher Sudfeld, Lindsey Locks, Enju Liu, Wafaie W Fawzi, Christopher P Duggan. 2018. "Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation and Growth in Early Infancy are Associated with Stunting in Young Tanzanian Children." NUTRIENTS, Volume 10, Issue 9, pp. ? - ? (14). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091158
Stunting can afflict up to one-third of children in resource-constrained countries. We hypothesized that low-grade systemic inflammation (defined as elevations in serum C-reactive protein or alpha-1-acid glycoprotein) in infancy suppresses the growth hormone–insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis and is associated with subsequent stunting. Blood samples of 590 children from periurban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, were obtained at 6 weeks and 6 months of age as part of a randomized controlled trial. Primary outcomes were stunting, underweight, and wasting (defined as length-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-length z-scores < −2) between randomization and endline (18 months after randomization). Cox proportional hazards models were constructed to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of time to first stunting, underweight, and wasting as outcomes, with measures of systemic inflammation, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) as exposures, adjusting for numerous demographic and clinical variables. The incidences of subsequent stunting, underweight, and wasting were 26%, 20%, and 18%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, systemic inflammation at 6 weeks of age was significantly associated with stunting (HR: 2.14, 95% CI: 1.23, 3.72; p = 0.002). Children with higher levels of IGF-1 at 6 weeks were less likely to become stunted (HR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.37, 0.93; p for trend = 0.019); a similar trend was noted in children with higher levels of IGF-1 at 6 months of age (HR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.22, 1.12; p for trend = 0.07). Systemic inflammation occurs as early as 6 weeks of age and is associated with the risk of future stunting among Tanzanian children.
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