Objectives: To investigate the effect of birth weight (BW) and maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (mBMI) on blood pressure (BP) in adolescence. Methods: A Population-based cohort of 11,729 births in Jerusalem during 1974–1976, with archival data on maternal and birth characteristics was performed. Measurements at age 17 were assessed and linear regression models were used to evaluate the associations of birth characteristics with BP outcomes. Results: BW was inversely associated with both systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP at age 17 (SBP: B = − 0.829, p = 0.002; DBP: B = − 0.397, p = 0.033). The interaction term between BW and weight at age 17 was significant for DBP (p = 0.017) and pulse pressure (p = 0.005). mBMI yielded significant positive associations with BP, independent of BW. Conclusions for Practice: Our findings indicate that there are at least two distinct pathways linking early life characteristics with subsequent BP: Intrauterine growth, as reflected by BW and other genetic or environmental factors, reflected by mBMI and maternal education, contribute to offspring adolescent BP. These results warrant replication in other birth cohorts and underline the need to explore specific mechanisms that account for these associations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by NIH research grant 2R01CA7080197-07.
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- Birth weight
- Blood pressure