Intergenerational Correlations in Size at Birth and the Contribution of Environmental Factors The Uppsala Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study, Sweden, 1915-2002


de Stavola, BL; Leon, DA; Koupil, I; (2011) Intergenerational Correlations in Size at Birth and the Contribution of Environmental Factors The Uppsala Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study, Sweden, 1915-2002. American journal of epidemiology, 174 (1). pp. 52-62. ISSN 0002-9262 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwr032

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Abstract

Sizes at birth of parents and their children are known to be correlated, reflecting in part the influence of fetal and maternal genes. Sociodemographic factors, regarded as aspects of the shared environment across generations, would also be expected to contribute, but evidence is limited. In the present study, the authors aimed to quantify the role of the shared environment in explaining intergenerational correlations in birth weight and length by using data across 3 consecutive generations from the Uppsala Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study in Uppsala, Sweden. That study included birth and sociodemographic data on 7,657 singletons born in Uppsala in 1915-1929 (generation 1) and their grandchildren (generation 3). Standard regression and biometric models were used to study the correlations in size at birth of generation 1-generation 3 pairs. The data showed stronger correlations in maternal pairs than in paternal pairs for birth weight (0.125 vs. 0.096, P = 0.02) but not for birth length (0.097 vs. 0.093, P = 0.77). These correlations were not reduced by adjustment for sociodemographic factors in regression models. In contrast, significant shared-environment contributions to the intergenerational correlations were identified in biometric models, averaging 14% for both birth measures. These models assumed a common latent factor for the sociodemographic variables. The present results show that the shared environment moderately but significantly contributes to intergenerational correlations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: bias (epidemiology), birth weight, child, environment, intergenerational relations, models, genetic, models, structural, GESTATIONAL-AGE, PRETERM BIRTH, FETAL-GROWTH, INTRAUTERINE GROWTH, AFRICAN-AMERICANS, WEIGHT, DETERMINANTS, PREGNANCY, BORN, TRANSMISSION
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Centre for Statistical Methodology
PubMed ID: 21617260
Web of Science ID: 292046300007
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/409

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