UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology

Publication Date


Document Type



Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Gastroenterology | Maternal and Child Health | Pediatrics


OBJECTIVE: To assess whether growth and biomarkers of environmental enteric dysfunction in infancy are related to health outcomes in midchildhood in Tanzania.

STUDY DESIGN: Children who participated in 2 randomized trials of micronutrient supplements in infancy were followed up in midchildhood (4.6-9.8 years of age). Anthropometry was measured at age 6 and 52 weeks in both trials, and blood samples were available from children at 6 weeks and 6 months from 1 trial. Linear regression was used for height-for-age z-score, body mass index-for-age z-score, and weight for age z-score, and blood pressure analyses; log-binomial models were used to estimate risk of overweight, obesity, and stunting in midchildhood.

RESULTS: One hundred thirteen children were followed-up. Length-for-age z-score at 6 weeks and delta length-for-age z-score from 6 to 52 weeks were associated independently and positively with height-for-age z-score and inversely associated with stunting in midchildhood. Delta weight-for-length and weight-for-age z-score were also positively associated with midchildhood height-for-age z-score. The 6-week and delta weight-for-length z-scores were associated independently and positively with midchildhood body mass index-for-age z-score and overweight, as was the 6-week and delta weight-for-age z-score. Delta length-for-age z-score was also associated with an increased risk of overweight in midchildhood. Body mass index-for-age z-score in midchildhood was associated positively with systolic blood pressure. Serum anti-flagellin IgA concentration at 6 weeks was also associated with increased blood pressure in midchildhood.

CONCLUSIONS: Anthropometry at 6 weeks and growth in infancy independently predict size in midchildhood, while anti-flagellin IgA, a biomarker of environmental enteric dysfunction, in early infancy is associated with increased blood pressure in midchildhood. Interventions in early life should focus on optimizing linear growth while minimizing excess weight gain and environmental enteric dysfunction.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00197730 and NCT00421668.


child health, growth, nutrition transition

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Open Access funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

DOI of Published Version



J Pediatr. 2017 May 9. pii: S0022-3476(17)30488-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.04.005. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of pediatrics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.