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Volume 18, Number 9—September 2012


Infectious Diseases in Children and Body Mass Index in Young Adults

Gina SuhComments to Author , Catherine Ley, and Julie Parsonnet
Author affiliations: Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA

Main Article

Table 2

Independent predictors of BMI in a cohort of persons during childhood and during adulthood, the Philippines, 1983–2005 *†

Predictor BMI, age ≈24 mo

BMI, age ≈22 y
Parameter estimate p value Parameter estimate p value
Visits with reported URI‡ –0.25 0.14 1.13§ 0.01
Visits with current fever –1.41 <0.001 –1.61 0.11
Visits with reported diarrhea 0.23 0.27 –1.05 0.06
Visits during which child was observed crawling in unsanitary conditions –0.05 0.65 –0.72 0.02

*BMI, body mass index; URI, upper respiratory infection.
†Models were adjusted for maternal schooling/training (<7 or >7 y), sex and birth weight. R2: BMI age 24 mo, 0.08; BMI age 22 y, 0.03.
‡A model that used number of visits instead of proportion of visits identified very similar findings, as did a model that limited analysis to those with >10 visits only.
§The parameter estimate corresponds to the change in BMI when participants with no visits (0%) with infection are compared to those with all visits (100%) with infection. Alternatively, a 10% increase in reported visits with infection corresponds to an increase of 10% of the parameter in BMI in adulthood. For example, a 10% increase in visits with reported URI corresponds to a 0.113 kg/m2 increase in adult BMI.

Main Article