June 28, 2005
Low Birth Weight of a Baby Entails Risks for the Baby’s Father
Parents whose children are born with a low birth weight run greater risk of dying of cardiovascular diseases. Even the fathers are at greater risk. These findings are published in a new report by Karolinska Institutet. The report shows that genetic factors affect both birth weight and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
It is already known that poor foetal growth is associated with high blood pressure, type II diabetes (adult onset diabetes), and cardiovascular diseases in later life. This new study from Karolinska Institutet is more extensive than previous studies, and uses a totally new approach by also investigating the risk posed to fathers. The study analysed the relationship between the birth weight of the baby and the parents' mortality by comparing registers that contained information on all parents whose children were born in Sweden between 1973 and 1980; a total of 783,814 children were born in Sweden during this period.
"The next step is to conduct more in-depth research to find out which genetic factors may be responsible for this interesting relationship," says Finn Rasmussen, associate professor and senior lecturer at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet.
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