Low birth weight ups risk of high blood pressure
A study focusing on the relation of birth weight with blood pressure (BP) in a representative adult population has found a significant association between low birth weight (LBW) and the risk of developing high BP.
Overall, 4,502 participants reported their birth weights (mean, 3.37 kg). Females with LBW had significantly higher mean systolic (SBP) and diastolic (D)BP than those with normal birth weight. Such association remained consistent after adjusting for various confounding factors.
Males with LBW also tended to have higher SBP and DBP compared to those with normal birth weight >2.5 kg. LBW individuals with <2.5 kg had a greater risk for having high SBP hypertension than those with normal birth weight.
For every kg of birth weight in females, a predicted decrease of 1.59 mm Hg (0.7–2.5; p=0.001) in SBP and 0.85 mm Hg (0.2–1.5; p=0.001) was noted after adjusting for age, body size, physical activity, smoking status, alcohol intake, and socioeconomic factors.
In males, each kg of birth weight corresponded to a decrease of 1.74 mm Hg (0.7–2.8; p=0.002) in SBP and 1.06 mm Hg (0.3–1.9; p=0.008) in DBP after adjusting for all confounding factors.
This cross-sectional study examined the link between birth weight and BP among the adult Australian population and added questions about birth weight to the second round of the AusDiab study.
Hypertension was defined as ≥140/90 mm Hg (based on the World Health Organization classification) and as ≥130/85 mm Hg (based on the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III). Both definitions were examined against the continuous birth weight and dichotomous variable of LBW (<2.5 kg), adjusting for confounding factors.