Maternal and pediatric nutrition

IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations at 2 years: associations with anthropometry and milk consumption in an Indian cohort



To ascertain associations between plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) and their molar ratio at 2 y with neonatal size, infant growth, body composition at 2 y, and feeding practices in an Indian cohort.


A cohort of 209 newborns, with 122 followed at 2 y. Anthropometry was conducted at birth and 2 y. IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations were measured in cord blood and at 2 y. Maternal and child diet was assessed by food frequency questionnaires and maternal interviews. Multivariate regression was used to test for associations adjusting for confounding factors.


Mean 2 y plasma IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 were 49.4 ng/ml (95% CI: 44.1, 54.8), 1953.8 ng/ml (CI: 1870.6, 2036.9) ng/ml, and 0.088 (CI: 0.081, 0.095), respectively. IGF-I and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 were positively associated with current length, but not body mass index or adiposity. IGF-I was higher among those with greater change in length since birth. IGF-I concentrations were higher in children who drank the most milk (>500 vs. <250 ml per day: 65.6 vs. 42.8 ng/ml, p < 0.04), received other milk <6 months compared to ≥6 months (56.3 vs. 44.8 ng/ml, p < 0.05), and in those whose mothers consumed milk daily vs. less frequently in late pregnancy (56.4 vs. 42.7 ng/ml, p < 0.01). In multivariate regression, 2 y IGF-I concentration and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 were each positively associated with current length and milk intake. IGFBP-3 was not related to anthropometry or milk intake.


Plasma IGF-I concentrations and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 at 2 y are positively associated with length at 2 y and current milk intake.

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We are grateful to Lalita Ramdas, who provided logistical support for data collection.


The study was funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Analysis of IGF-I was funded by Indiana University.

Author contributions

CSY designed research; HGL, DSB, NSM, and DAR conducted research; ASW provided IGF-I analysis kits; ASW and SMJ analyzed data; ASW wrote paper; ASW, SMJ, and CSY had primary responsibility for the final content. ASW and CSY have equal authorship status.

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Correspondence to Andrea S. Wiley.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The study was approved by the KEM Hospital Research Centre Ethics Committee, Pune, India and informed written consent was obtained from mothers in the study. Analysis of the umbilical cord and 2-y blood samples for IGF-I concentration was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.

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Wiley, A.S., Joshi, S.M., Lubree, H.G. et al. IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations at 2 years: associations with anthropometry and milk consumption in an Indian cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr 72, 564–571 (2018).

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