Journal Article

Birth Weight, Infant Weight Gain, and Cause-specific Mortality

H. E. Syddall, A. Aihie Sayer, S. J. Simmonds, C. Osmond, V. Cox, E. M. Dennison, D. J. P. Barker and C. Cooper

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 11, pages 1074-1080
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwi137
Birth Weight, Infant Weight Gain, and Cause-specific Mortality

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Low birth weight, a marker of adverse intrauterine circumstances, is known to be associated with a range of disease outcomes in later life, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. However, it may also decrease the risk of other common conditions, most notably neoplastic disease. The authors describe the associations between birth weight, infant weight gain, and a range of mortality outcomes in the Hertfordshire Cohort. This study included 37,615 men and women born in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, in 1911–1939; 7,916 had died by the end of 1999. For men, lower birth weight was associated with increased risk of mortality from circulatory disease (hazard ratio per standard deviation decrease in birth weight = 1.08, 95% confidence interval: 1.04, 1.11) and from accidental falls but with decreased risk of mortality from cancer (hazard ratio per standard deviation decrease in birth weight = 0.94, 95% confidence interval: 0.90, 0.98). For women, lower birth weight was associated with a significantly (p < 0.05) increased risk of mortality from circulatory and musculoskeletal disease, pneumonia, injury, and diabetes. Overall, a one-standard-deviation increase in birth weight reduced all-cause mortality risk by age 75 years by 0.86% for both men and women.

Keywords: birth weight; cohort studies; infant; mortality; risk; weight gain; CI, confidence interval; HR, hazard ratio; ICD-9, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision; NHSCR, National Health Service Central Register; SD, standard deviation; SMR, standardized mortality ratio

Journal Article.  5269 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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