Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44551. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044551. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Effect of birth year on birth weight and obesity in adulthood: comparison between subjects born prior to and during the great depression in Iceland.

Author information

  • 1Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali University Hospital and Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. cmi1@hi.is

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many epidemiological studies have linked small size at birth to adverse adult health outcomes but the relative influence of environmental exposures is less well established.

METHODS:

The authors investigated the impact of prenatal environmental exposure by comparing 2750 participants born before (1925-1929) and during (1930-1934) the Great Depression in Reykjavik, Iceland. Calendar year served as proxy for environmental effects. Anthropometric measurements at birth and school-age (8-13 years) were collected from national registries. Participants were medically examined as adults (33-65 years).

RESULTS:

Mean birth weight, adjusted for maternal age and parity, decreased by 97 g (95% confidence interval (CI): 39, 156) for men and 70 g (95% CI: 11, 129) for women from 1925 to 1934; growth at school-age was significantly reduced for participants growing during the Depression. As adults, women prenatally exposed to the Depression had higher body mass index (Δ0.6 kg/m(2), 95% CI: 0.2, 1.1), higher fasting blood glucose levels (Δ0.16 mmol/L, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.23) and greater odds of being obese 1.43 (95% CI: 1.01, 2.02) compared to unexposed counterparts. Non-significant associations were observed in men.

CONCLUSION:

Reduction in birth weight due to rapid shifts in the economic environment appears to have a modest but significant association with later obesity for women while male offspring appear to be less affected by these conditions.

PMID:
22957081
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3434126
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk