Birth weight

Birth weight

Birth weight is the weight of a baby at its birth. It has direct links with the gestational age at which the child was born and can be estimated during the pregnancy by measuring fundal height. A baby born within the normal range of weight for that gestational age is known as appropriate for gestational age (AGA). Those born above or below that range have often had an unusual rate of development – this often indicates complications with the pregnancy that may affect the baby or its mother. The incidence of birth weight being outside of the AGA is influenced by the parents in numerous ways, including:
*The health of the mother, particularly during the pregnancy
*Environmental factors
*Other factors, like multiple births, where each baby is likely to be outside the AGA, one more so than the other

There have been numerous studies that have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to show links between birth weight and later-life conditions, including diabetes, obesity, tobacco smoking and intelligence.


Associated conditions include:

* Large for gestational age
* Small for gestational age

Influence on adult life

Studies have been conducted to investigate how a person's birth weight can influence aspects of their future life. This includes theorised links with obesity, diabetes and intelligence.


A baby born small or large for gestational age (either of the two extremes) is thought to have an increased risk of obesity in later life.cite web |url= |title=3 stages of childhood may predict obesity risk - Fitness - |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url= |title=Programming of lean body mass: a link between birth weight, obesity, and cardiovascular disease? -- Singhal "et al." 77 (3): 726 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url= |title=Fetal and early life growth and body mass index from birth to early adulthood in 1958 British cohort: longitudinal study -- Parsons "et al." 323 (7325): 1331 -- BMJ |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=]

GH therapy at a certain dose induced catch-up of lean body mass (LBM). However percentage body fat decreased in the GH-treated subjects. Bone mineral density SDS measured by DEXA increased significantly in the GH-treated group compared to the untreated subjects, though there is much debate over whether or not SGA (small for gestational age) is significantly adverse to children to warrant inducing catch-up. []


Babies that have a low birth weight are thought to have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.cite web |url= |title=BBC NEWS | Health | Low birth weight diabetes link |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url= |title=Maternal Gestational Diabetes, Birth Weight, and Adolescent Obesity -- Gillman "et al." 111 (3): e221 -- Pediatrics |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite journal |author=Rich-Edwards JW, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, "et al" |title=Birthweight and the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus in adult women |journal=Ann. Intern. Med. |volume=130 |issue=4 Pt 1 |pages=278–84 |year=1999 |pmid=10068385 |doi=]


Some studies have shown a direct link between an increased birth weight and an increased intelligence quotient.cite web |url= |title=Influence of variation in birth weight within normal range and within sibships on IQ at age 7 years: cohort study British Medical Journal 11aug01 |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url= |title=The Future of Children - Sub-Sections |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url= |title=BBC News | HEALTH | Intelligence linked to birthweight |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=]

Effects on the mother

There is some evidence of a link between a child's birth weight and its mother's risk of cardiovascular disease.cite web |url= |title=BBC News | HEALTH | Small babies spell danger for mother |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=]

ee also

*Barker's hypothesis
*MOMO syndrome

Parent Support

[The MAGIC Foundation for Children's Growth] []


External links

* " [ Understanding IUGR] A Parent's Guide"
*" [ Intrauterine Growth Restriction: Identification and Management] " at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
*" [ Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)] " at Health System, University of Virginia
*eMedicine|med|3247|Fetal Growth Restriction
*" [ Researchers link low birth weight to lower achievement] "
*" [ Management of Suspected Fetal Macrosomia] "
*" [ Vit D linked to baby birth weight] " at BBC News, 25 April 2006
* [ Born in Bradford] - 2006 cohort study into the causes of low birth weight and infant mortality in Bradford, UK
* [ Intrauterine Growth Restriction Help] - IUGR factors and solutions
* [ The IUGR prognostic scale]

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