Previous studies have shown that birth weight and other birth characteristics may be associated with risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life; however, results using large US national survey data are limited. Our goal was to determine the aforementioned associations using nationally representative data. We studied children and adolescents 6-15 years using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles 2001-2010. Survey and examination data included demographic and early childhood characteristics, current health status, physical activity information, anthropometric measurements, dietary data (total energy, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar intakes), biomarkers related to selected risk factors of CVD [systolic blood pressure (SBP), plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profiles], and type 2 diabetes [fasting glucose, insulin, and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)]. Birth weight (proxy-reported) was inversely associated with SBP among girls; SBP levels increased 1.4 mmHg for each 1,000 g decrease in birth weight (p = 0.003) after controlling for potential confounders. Birth weight was not associated with levels of CRP or lipid profiles across the three racial groups. In addition, birth weight was inversely related to levels of fasting insulin and HOMA among non-Hispanic Whites; for each 1,000 g decrease in birth weight, fasting insulin levels increased 9.1 % (p = 0.007) and HOMA scores increased 9.8 % (p = 0.007). Birth weight was inversely associated with the levels of SBP, fasting insulin, and HOMA. These results support a role for birth weight, independent of the strong effects of current body weight status, in increasing risk for CVD and type 2 diabetes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health