IGF-I at 9 and 36 months of age — relations with body composition and diet at 3 years — the SKOT cohort

Katrine Tschentscher Ejlerskov, A. Larnkjær, D. Pedersen, C. Ritz, C. Mølgaard, K. F. Michaelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


High infancy levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) have been associated with increased linear growth and fat-free mass (FFM) but also with risk of obesity. This paper examines how IGF-I at 9 and 36 months relates to diet and body composition.
Healthy term infants from the prospective cohort study, SKOT, were examined at 9 and 36 months with anthropometry, bioelectrical impedance (36 months), 7-day food records and blood analysis of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 by chemiluminescent immunometric assay.
IGF-I at 36 months (n = 229) was positively correlated with 9 months values and values were considerably higher in girls (43%). Children breastfed at 9 months had lower IGF-I concentrations at 9 months but reached the same IGF-I concentrations at 36 months as infants not breastfed at 9 months. IGF-I at 36 months was positively associated with height, weight, BMI, predicted FFM and FFM index (FFM/height (kg/m2)). Although there also was a positive association with predicted fat mass (FM) there was no association with FM index (FM/height (kg/m2)). Further, a negative association with skin fold thickness was observed. A change in IGF-I from 9–36 months was positively related to FFM and FFM index but not BMI, FM and FM index. No associations were seen between IGF-I and current intake of milk, meat or protein energy percentage, but both fat and saturated fat energy percentage were negatively associated with IGF-I.
IGF-I concentrations were positively associated with growth but not with adiposity at this age. However, the higher tempo of growth may influence age at adiposity rebound and thereby later risk of obesity. Milk and protein intake at 36 months did not influence IGF-I but there was a negative association with intake of fat and saturated fat. The implications of this finding for development of obesity need further exploration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGrowth Hormone & I G F Research
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)239-244
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IGF-I
  • IGFBP-3
  • Breastfeeding
  • Diet
  • Body composition
  • Growth
  • Early childhood


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