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Anthropometric measures at birth and early childhood are associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes among Bangladeshi children aged 2–3years

Lee, Jane J., Kapur, Kush, Rodrigues, Ema G., Ibne Hasan, Md Omar Sharif, Quamruzzaman, Quazi, Wright, Robert O., Bellinger, David C., Christiani, David C., Mazumdar, Maitreyi
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.607-608 pp. 475-482
birth weight, childhood, children, cognition, cohort studies, head circumference, maternal exposure, metals, mothers, neurodevelopment, rural areas, Bangladesh
Among a cohort of children located in rural areas of Bangladesh affected by high levels of exposure to environmental metals, we investigated the associations between anthropometric measures, growth trajectory, and neurodevelopment at age 20–40months. Our study population included mothers and their children who participated in a longitudinal birth cohort study that took in place in the Pabna and Sirajdikhan areas of Bangladesh. Anthropometric measures including weight, length, and head circumference were measured at birth, age 12months, and age 20–40months. Neurodevelopment was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Third Edition (BSID-III) multi-scale at age 20–40months. A total of 777 mother-child pairs were included. Higher anthropometric measures at 20–40months were associated with higher cognitive, language, and motor scores on BSID-III. For example, a 1-kg increment in birthweight was associated with an increase of 2.11 for cognitive score (p<0.0001), 1.63 for language score (p=0.006), and 0.89 for motor scores (p=0.03). Greater positive changes in growth parameters, or growth trajectory, between birth and 20–40months were also associated with higher BSID-III scores. These associations remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders and prenatal exposure to environmental metals. These findings suggest that even when taking into account high environmental metal exposures, prenatal and early childhood growth have strong associations with neurodevelopmental test scores in early childhood.