The impact of birth weight on peak lung function in young adults

Suresh, Sadasivam, Mamun, Abdullah A., O'Callaghan, Michael and Sly, Peter D. (2012) The impact of birth weight on peak lung function in young adults. Chest, 142 6: 1603-1610. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2976

Author Suresh, Sadasivam
Mamun, Abdullah A.
O'Callaghan, Michael
Sly, Peter D.
Title The impact of birth weight on peak lung function in young adults
Journal name Chest   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-3692
Publication date 2012-12
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1378/chest.11-2976
Volume 142
Issue 6
Start page 1603
End page 1610
Total pages 8
Place of publication Northbrook, IL, United States
Publisher American College of Chest Physicians
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Poor fetal growth rate, as indicated by lower birth weight, is associated with lower respiratory function in childhood; however, findings in adult life remain inconsistent. A birth cohort provides the opportunity to study the association between birth weight and adult respiratory function.

Methods: The present study data are from a longitudinal birth cohort, the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy. Prospective data were available from 2,368 young adults who underwent standard spirometry when 21 years old. Pregnancy and birth-related variables collected were birth weight, placental weight, parental height, maternal educational status, maternal smoking history in pregnancy, and maternal history of alcohol, tea, and coffee consumption during pregnancy. The impact of birth weight on adult lung function was assessed using univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: For every 100-g increase in birth weight, FVC (95% CI) at 21 years increased by 24 mL (15-32) in men and 20 mL (13-27) in women, and the increase in FEV1 (CI) was 22 mL (15-30) and 16 mL (11-22), respectively. These associations remain after adjusting for lifestyle factors during pregnancy, current smoking, and parental height. However, further adjustment for adult height reduces the strength of association and remains significant for FEV1: 8 mL (1-14) in men and 5 mL (1-10) in women, but not for FVC: 7 mL (-1-14) in men and 5 mL (-1-11) in women.

Conclusion: Our longitudinal cohort study provides evidence of robust links between birth weight and adult lung function at the age of 21 years. Various estimates of the effect size in the literature may be related to the age at assessment.
Keyword Fetal growth
Respiratory function
Birth weight
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 09 Jan 2013, 14:48:59 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health