Low birth weight and serum lipid concentrations at age 7-11 years in a biracial sample

Gé A. Donker, Darwin R. Labarthe*, Ronald B. Harrist, Beatrice J. Selwyn, Sathanur R. Srinivasan, Wendy Wattigney, Gerald S. Berenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The relation between birth weight and serum lipid concentrations at age 7 through 11 years was examined in a sample of 1,411 black children and white children in Washington Parish, Louisiana. Two data sets of the Bogalusa Heart Study were merged: 1) newborn cohort participants (n = 225) initially examined at birth, 1973-1974, and reexamined in 1984-1985 at age 9 through 11 years; and 2) subjects examined at ages 7 through 11 years in 1987-1988 (n = 1,186) whose birth weight was collected from birth certificates in 1991. The prevalence ratios for being in the race-, sex-, and age-specific upper decile of serum lipid concentrations in children born with low birth weight (<2,500 g) versus those with birth weight ≤2,500 g were calculated per race-sex group. Among white boys with low birth weight, higher than expected percentages of subjects were in the highest decile group of triglyceride concentrations (0.01 < p < 0.05). The prevalence ratio was 2.42 (95% confidence interval 1.19-4.91). When premature infants were excluded, only for white girls was a greater than expected percentage of subjects with low birth weight found to be in the highest decile group of triglyceride concentrations. The corresponding prevalence ratio for white girls was 3.23 (95% confidence interval 1.16-9.00). In analyses that either included or excluded premature infants, prevalence ratios for triglyceride concentrations in black boys and black girls and for the low density lipoprotein cholesterol/high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, total cholesterol concentration, and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration in all race-sex groups were not significantly different from one. To our knowledge, this is the first study finding associations between low birth weight and elevated triglyceride concentrations in later childhood. A follow- up study among adults is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-407
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • birth weight
  • black
  • child
  • cholesterol
  • risk factors
  • triglycerides
  • white

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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