[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 2, 1984

Low Birth Weight Across Generations

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemiology and Biometry Research Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1984;252(17):2423-2427. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350170025013

The relationship between maternal birth weight and infant birth weight was studied in the Buffalo cohort of the Collaborative Perinatal Project (n=1,348). Regression techniques were used to control for confounders. Compared with infants of mothers who had weighed 8 lb or more at birth, infants of mothers who had weighed 6 to 7.9 lb, 4 to 5.9 lb, and less than 4 lb at birth were 99 g, 244 g, and 170 g lighter, respectively. The adjusted odds ratios of giving birth to an infant of birth weight less than 2,500 g, with mothers of birth weight 8 lb or more as the reference group, were 3.46 and 1.66 for mothers of birth weight 4 to 5.9 lb and 6 to 7.9 lb, respectively. There were no infants less than 2,500 g among the 24 women who had weighed less than 4 lb at birth. These data suggest a possible role of genetic and familial factors in determining birth weight.

(JAMA 1984;252:2423-2427)