Table 4

 Summary of published studies examining the association between birth weight and lung function

First author (year of publication)Study typeNCountryAge at lung function testsSource of birth weight dataMain results (as published)β (SE) coefficient(l/kg) used in meta-analysis*Factors controlled for
SE, standard error.
*These were either calculated from the information provided or from information obtained from the authors.
Barker (1991)7Retrospective cohort825England59–70Obstetric recordsChange per 1 lb birth weight:0.03 (0.014)Age, height, smoking, social class at birth
FEV: 0.06 l(0.02 to 0.09)
Strachan (1994)27Prospective cohort1186England & Wales34–35Obtained at birthPositive linear trend of FEV1 across quarters of birth weight(p = 0.011)Not availableSex, height, smoking, father’s social class
Frankel (1996)26Prospective cohort1258Wales45–59Self-reportPositive linear trend of FEV1 across quarters (p = 0.06)0.047 (0.023)Age, height squared (male only study)
Stein (1997)9Birth cohort follow-up286India38–59Obstetric recordsChange per 1 lb birth weight:0.06 (0.03)Age, height, body mass index, social class, smoking (results stratified by sex)
FEV1 in men: 0.16 l (−0.02 to 0.33)
FEV1 in women: 0.14 l (0.00 to 0.30)
Shaheen (1998)15Retrospective cohort239ScotlandMean (SD)57.6 (4.3)Obstetric recordChange per kg birth weight:0.036 (0.057)Age, sex, height, smoking and type of spyrometer
FEV1: 0.036 l (−0.074 to 0.147)
FVC: 0.010 l(−0.119 to 0.139)
Lopuhaa (2000)14Retrospective cohort726The Netherlands50Birth recordsp values for linear trends across four categories of birth weight:0.03 (0.03)Age, sex, height
FEV1: p = 0.6
FVC: p = 0.6
FEV1/FVC: p = 0.8
Cheung (2001)13Prospective birth cohort120China30Birth recordsp values for linear trends across seven categories of birth weight:Not availableAge, sex, height
FEV1: p = 0.36
FVC: p = 0.87
FEV1/FVC: p = 0.30
Boezen (2002)36Prospective cohort590The Netherlands18–22Obstetric recordsChange per 100 g decrease in birth weight0.13 (0.04)Age, height, smoking, maternal smoking in pregnancy, sex, birth order, gestational age
FEV1: −0.013(SE 0.004)
Edwards (2003)10Record linkage cohort study323Scotland45–50Obstetric recordsp values for linear trends across five categories of birth weight:Not availableAge, height, weight, smoking, deprivation category, sex, parity, gestational age
FEV1 men: p = 0.04
FEV1 women: p = 0.01
FVC men: p<0.01
FVC women: p<0.01
Laerum (2004)16Retrospective cohort1514Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden20–44Birth or obstetric recordsChange per 500 g birth weight0.09 (0.024)Age, sex, height, prematurity, study centre (country), BMI, allergic rhinitis, parental and adult smoking (the results in the published study were also adjusted for birth length; the results included in our meta-analysis were not adjusted for birth length)
FEV1: 0.45 (−0.52 to 1.41) % predicted
FVC: 0.47 (−0.52 to 1.46) % predicted