Department of Nutrition Science, School of Nutrition, Federal University of Bahia, Basílio da Gama Street, 40110-907, Canela, Salvador, BA, Brazil; Postgraduate Program in Food, Nutrition and Health, School of Nutrition, Federal University of Bahia, Basílio da Gama Street, 40110-907, Canela, Salvador, BA, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : Overweight children and adolescents are more likely to evolve with high cholesterol, be obese adults and develop cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study was to identify the influence of anthropometric status on the changes in the lipid profile of children and adolescents during an 18-month follow-up period. METHODS : A cohort study involving 540 boys and girls from 7 to 15 years of age was conducted over 18 months' follow-up. The outcome variables were the lipid indicators and the principal exposure variable was anthropometric status, measured by different indicators. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) approach was used to identify the associations of interest. RESULTS : Irrespective of age, sex, socio-economic status, physical activity and diet, for each gain of 1 cm in the waist circumference (WC) mean in the adjusted model, triglyceride levels increased by a mean of 0.5 mg/dl (p < 0.000) and there was an increase of 0.21 mg/dL in the total cholesterol after the 18-month period. The increase of 0.1 in the mean body mass index (BMI) Z-score promoted a gain of 2.7 mg/dL in the triglycerides mean levels (p < 0.000) and an increase of 1.5 mg/dL in the total cholesterol mean levels (p = 0.014) after the follow-up period. Regarding the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and conicity index (CI), an increment of 40.6 mg/dL (p = 0.02) and of 30.1 mg/dL (p = 0.01) was observed in the triglycerides' mean when the participants increased 0.1 in the WHtR mean and CI mean, and the same was observed in the total cholesterol mean, with an increase of 45.4,g/dL (p = 0.02) and 19.3 mg/dL (p = 0.03), for each indicator, respectively. Changes of the traditional anthropometric indicators (WC and BMI) did not promote variations in the mean levels of LDL-cholesterol. HDL-cholesterol was not influenced by the changes in the anthropometric indicators. CONCLUSIONS : At the baseline, a higher triglyceride mean and lower levels of HDL-c were observed in children and adolescents with altered anthropometric status for all measures. Mean triglyceride and total cholesterol levels are influenced by changes in the anthropometric status, regardless of the measure, after 18 months of follow-up. However, for LDL-cholesterol, it was observed that changes in the traditional anthropometric indicators (WC and BMI) did not promote variations in the mean levels of this biochemical variable, while HDL-c was not influenced by changes in any of the anthropometric indicators.