Objectives: To analyse whether there is a relationship between birth weight on the one hand and coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and morbidity on the other, whether such a relationship is influenced by potential modifying factors from the time of birth, adult height and the presence of diabetes, and what significance these possible associations might have for the CHD and CVD rates in the general population.
Design: Population-based birth cohort.
Subjects: A total of 1319 singleton men born in 1913, surviving until age 20 and from then on followed until 85 years of age.
Main outcome measures: CHD and CVD mortality and morbidity events.
Results: The gestational age adjusted CHD and CVD mortality and morbidity hazard ratios were virtually unaffected by birth weight. Taking possible effect-modifying variables into account did not change the results. The population attributable risk percentage for CHD and CVD mortality and morbidity due to a birth weight <or=3000 g was 1% or less.
Conclusions: Birth weight did not significantly affect CHD or CVD mortality or morbidity. A birth weight <or=3000 g contributes little to the burden of CHD and CVD on a community level.