Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

The influence of birth weight and body mass in early adulthood on early coronary heart disease risk among Danish men born in 1953

  • Developmental Epidemiology
  • Published:
European Journal of Epidemiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This study examines the joint and separate influence of birth weight and body mass in young adulthood on subsequent coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. A cohort of 9,143 men born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1953, for whom information on birth weight and body weight and height around age 19 years were retrieved from birth certificates and conscript records, respectively, were followed from 1978 until 2005 (between age 25 and 52 years) for incident fatal and non-fatal CHD. Data on CHD were obtained through record linkage to the Cause of Death Registry and the National Patient Registry. During follow-up, a total of 475 men had a CHD diagnosis. Men with low birth weight, high body mass index (BMI) at age 19, a father from the working class, and low educational level at age 19 had an increased risk for CHD. Birth weight was inversely associated with CHD only in men with BMI of 25 kg/m2 or above. Adjustment for childhood social circumstances and educational status at age 19 had minor influence on the estimates. In conclusion, BMI in young adulthood seems to be strongly associated with the risk of CHD before age 52, and birth weight seem to modify the association. The risk estimates is highest for individuals with a combination of low birth weight and overweight in young adulthood.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Abbreviations

CHD:

Coronary heart disease

BMI:

Body Mass Index

References

  1. Barker DJ, Winter PD, Osmond C, Margetts B, Simmonds SJ. Weight in infancy and death from ischaemic heart disease. Lancet. 1989;2:577–80.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Osmond C, Barker DJ, Winter PD, Fall CH, Somminds SJ. Early growth and death from cardiovascular disease in women. BMJ. 1993;307:1519–24.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Stein CE, Fall CH, Kumaran K, Osmond C, Cox V, Barker DJ. Fetal growth and coronary heart disease in south India. Lancet. 1996;348:1269–73.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Frankel S, Elwood P, Sweetnam P, Yarnell J, Davey Smith G. Birth weight body mass index in middle age and incident coronary heart disease. Lancet. 1996;348:1478–80.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Rich-Edwards JW, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Rosner B, Hankinsson SE, Colditz R, et al. Birth weight and risk of cardiovascular disease in a cohort of women followed up since 1976. BMJ. 1997;315:396–400.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Leon DA, Lithell HO, Vågerø D, Koupilova I, Mohsen R, Berglund L, et al. Reduced fetal growth rate and increased risk of death from ischaemic heart disease: cohort study of 15,000 Swedish men and women born 1919–29. BMJ. 1998;317:241–5.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Eriksson JG, Forsen T, Tuomilehto J, Osmond C, Barker DJP. Early growth and coronary heart disease in later life: longitudinal study. BMJ. 2001;322:949–53.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Eriksson JG, Forsen T, Tuomilehto J, Osmond C, Cox V, Barker DJP. Catch-up growth in childhood and death from coronary heart disease in later life: longitudinal study. BMJ. 1999;318:427–31.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Lawlor DA, Davey Smith G, Ebrahim S. Birth weight is inversely associated with coronary heart disease in post-menopausal women: findings from the British Womens heart health study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2004;58:120–5.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Lawlor DA, Ronalds G, Clark H, Davey Smith G, Leon DA. Birth weight is inversely associated with incident heart disease and stroke among individuals born in the 1950s. Findings from the Aberdeen children of the 1950s prospective cohort study. Circulation. 2005;112:1414–18.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Baker JL, Losen LW, Sørensen TIA. Childhood body-mass index and the risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:2329–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Lawlor DA, Martin RM, Gunnell D, Galobardes B, Ebrahim S, Sandhu J, et al. Association of body mass inex measured in childhood adolescence, and young adulthood with risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke: findings from 3 historical cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83:767–73.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Osler M, Lund R, Kriegbaum M, et al. Cohort profile: the Metropolit 1953 Danish male birth cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2006;35:541–6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Green A. The Danish Conscription Registry: a resource for epidemiological research. Dan Med Bull. 1996;43:464–7.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank all those who initiated and/or continued the Metropolit study: K. Svalastoga, E. Høgh, P. Wolf, T. Rishøj, G. Strande-Sørensen, E. Manniche, B. Holten, I. A. Weibull and A. Ortman. Funding: Danish Heart Association, the Lundbeck Foundation, the Danish Pharmaceutical Fund, Else and Mogens Wedell-Wedellsborgs Fund, and the Danish Health Insurance Funds. The funding bodies have not influenced the analysis of data or its interpretation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Merete Osler.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Osler, M., Lund, R., Kriegbaum, M. et al. The influence of birth weight and body mass in early adulthood on early coronary heart disease risk among Danish men born in 1953. Eur J Epidemiol 24, 57–61 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-008-9301-z

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-008-9301-z

Keywords

Navigation