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Reduced fetal growth rate and increased risk of death from ischaemic heart disease: cohort study of 15 000 Swedish men and women born 1915-29.
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1998 (English)In: BMJ (Clinical Research Edition), ISSN 0959-8138, Vol. 317, no 7153, p. 241-5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To establish whether fetal growth rate (as distinct from size at birth) is associated with mortality from ischaemic heart disease.

DESIGN: Cohort study based on uniquely detailed obstetric records with 97% follow up over the entire life course and linkage to census data in adult life.

SUBJECTS: All 14 611 babies delivered at the Uppsala Academic Hospital, Sweden, during 1915-29 followed up to end of 1995.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mortality from ischaemic heart disease and other causes.

RESULTS: Cardiovascular disease showed an inverse association with birth weight for both men and women, although this was significant only for men. In men a 1000 g increase in birth weight was associated with a proportional reduction in the rate of ischaemic heart disease of 0.77 (95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.90). Adjustment for socioeconomic circumstances at birth and in adult life led to slight attenuation of this effect. Relative to the lowest fourth of birth weight for gestational age, mortality from ischaemic heart disease in men in the second, third, and fourth fourths was 0.81 (0.66 to 0.98), 0.63 (0.50 to 0.78), and 0.67 (0.54 to 0.82), respectively. The inclusion of birth weight per se and birth weight for gestational age in the same model strengthened the association with birth weight for gestational age but removed the association with birth weight.

CONCLUSION: This study provides by far the most persuasive evidence of a real association between size at birth and mortality from ischaemic heart disease in men, which cannot be explained by methodological artefact or socioeconomic confounding. It strongly suggests that it is variation in fetal growth rate rather than size at birth that is aetiologically important.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 317, no 7153, p. 241-5
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Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394856DOI: 10.1136/bmj.317.7153.241PubMedID: 9677213OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394856DiVA, id: diva2:1359636
Available from: 2019-10-09 Created: 2019-10-09 Last updated: 2019-10-09

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