Low birth weight is related to increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adult life. Since obesity is closely associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the relationship between size at birth and adult anthropometry is of interest as a mediator of the relationship between birth weight and metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was, therefore, to examine the effect of size at birth and prematurity on measures of adult anthropometry taking adult socio-economic status and lifestyle variables into account. Midwife records with information on mother's age and parity as well as weight, length and maturity at birth were traced in 4744 Danes born between 1939 and 1970. Measures of adult anthropometry (weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, hip circumference and waist/hip ratio) had previously been recorded together with information on socio-economic factors, lifestyle and parental diabetes status. Mother's age, parity and diabetes status were associated with offspring birth weight. Size at birth was positively associated with adult height and weight, but only weakly associated with BMI and not associated with waist/hip ratio when adjusted for socio-economic and lifestyle factors. Infants born preterm were less growth restricted at birth and grew to be taller and heavier compared with term infants born small for gestational age. Altogether, this study does not find evidence that obesity or a central fat distribution is mediating the relationship between low birth weight and risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes in later life.
|Tidsskrift||Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease|
|Status||Udgivet - 1 jan. 2010|