Inverse associations of cord blood mitochondrial DNA copy number with childhood adiposity

Aalekhya Reddam, Tessa R. Bloomquist, Lindsey T. Covell, Heng Hu, Sharon E. Oberfield, Dympna Gallagher, Rachel L. Miller, Jeff Goldsmith, Andrew G. Rundle, Andrea A. Baccarelli, Julie B. Herbstman, Allison Kupsco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine associations between umbilical cord mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) and adiposity across childhood. Methods: In a prospective birth cohort of Dominican and African American children from New York City, New York (1998–2006), mtDNAcn was measured in cord blood. Children (N = 336) were evaluated for their height, weight, and bioimpedance at age 5, 7, 9, and 11 years. We used linear mixed-effects models to assess associations of mtDNAcn tertiles in cord blood with child BMI, BMI z scores, fat mass index, and body fat percentage. Latent class growth models and interactions between mtDNAcn and child age or child age2 were used to assess associations between age and adiposity trajectories. Results: BMI was, on average, 1.5 kg/m2 higher (95% CI: 0.58, 2.5) in individuals with mtDNAcn in the low- compared with the middle-mtDNAcn tertile. Results were similar for BMI z score, fat mass index, and body fat percentage. Moreover, children in the low-mtDNAcn group had increased odds of being in an “increasing” or “high-stable” adiposity class. Conclusions: Lower mtDNAcn at birth may predict greater childhood adiposity, highlighting the potential key role of perinatal mitochondrial function in adiposity during development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-998
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024


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