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BACKGROUND: Growth faltering has been associated with poor intellectual performance. The relative strengths of associations between growth in early and in later childhood remain underexplored. OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between growth in childhood and adult human capital in 5 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). METHODS: We analyzed data from 9503 participants in 6 prospective birth cohorts from 5 LMICs (Brazil, Guatemala, India, the Philippines, and South Africa). We used linear and quasi-Poisson regression models to assess the associations between measures of height and relative weight at 4 age intervals [birth, age ∼2 y, midchildhood (MC), adulthood] and 2 dimensions of adult human capital [schooling attainment and Intelligence Quotient (IQ)]. RESULTS: Meta-analysis of site- and sex-specific estimates showed statistically significant associations between size at birth and height at ∼2 y and the 2 outcomes (P 

Original publication




Journal article


J Nutr

Publication Date



cohort studies, conditional height, conditional relative weight, growth, intelligence quotient, schooling attainment