- Birth weight
Birth weight is the weight of a baby at its birth. It has direct links with the
gestational ageat which the child was born and can be estimated during the pregnancyby 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:
healthof the mother, particularly during the pregnancy
*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 smokingand 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, diabetesand intelligence.
A baby born small or large for gestational age (either of the two extremes) is thought to have an increased risk of
obesityin later life.cite web |url=http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8088161/ |title=3 stages of childhood may predict obesity risk - Fitness - MSNBC.com |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url=http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/77/3/726 |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=http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/323/7325/1331 |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. [http://gghjournal.com/volume24/1/ab13.cfm]
Babies that have a low birth weight are thought to have an increased risk of developing type 2
diabetesin later life.cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4293509.stm |title=BBC NEWS | Health | Low birth weight diabetes link |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url=http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/3/e221 |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=http://www.mindfully.org/Health/Birth-Weight-IQ-Study.htm |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=http://www.futureofchildren.org/information2827/information_show.htm?doc_id=256519 |title=The Future of Children - Sub-Sections |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=] cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1483134.stm |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=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/688611.stm |title=BBC News | HEALTH | Small babies spell danger for mother |accessdate=2007-11-28 |format= |work=]
[The MAGIC Foundation for Children's Growth] [http://www.magicfoundation.org/www/docs/113/small-for-gestational-age]
* " [http://magicfoundation.org/www/docs/985.803/ Understanding IUGR] A Parent's Guide"
*" [http://www.aafp.org/afp/980800ap/peleg.html Intrauterine Growth Restriction: Identification and Management] " at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
*" [http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/peds_hrpregnant/iugr.cfm Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)] " at Health System,
University of Virginia
*eMedicine|med|3247|Fetal Growth Restriction
*" [http://www.islamonline.net/iol-english/dowalia/health-16-2-2000/health3.asp Researchers link low birth weight to lower achievement] "
*" [http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010115/302.html Management of Suspected Fetal Macrosomia] "
*" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4938932.stm Vit D linked to baby birth weight] " at
BBC News, 25 April 2006
* [http://www.borninbradford.nhs.uk Born in Bradford] - 2006 cohort study into the causes of low birth weight and infant mortality in Bradford, UK
* [http://www.iugr.blogspot.com Intrauterine Growth Restriction Help] - IUGR factors and solutions
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=17619893&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum The IUGR prognostic scale]
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