High Birth Weight Increases the Risk for Bone Tumor: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Sep 9;12(9):11178-95. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120911178.


There have been several epidemiologic studies on the relationship between high birth weight and the risk for bone tumor in the past decades. However, due to the rarity of bone tumors, the sample size of individual studies was generally too small for reliable conclusions. Therefore, we have performed a meta-analysis to pool all published data on electronic databases with the purpose to clarify the potential relationship. According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 18 independent studies with more than 2796 cases were included. As a result, high birth weight was found to increase the risk for bone tumor with an Odds Ratio (OR) of 1.13, with the 95% confidence interval (95% CI) ranging from 1.01 to 1.27. The OR of bone tumor for an increase of 500 gram of birth weight was 1.01 (95% CI 1.00-1.02; p = 0.048 for linear trend). Interestingly, individuals with high birth weight had a greater risk for osteosarcoma (OR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.06-1.40, p = 0.006) than those with normal birth weight. In addition, in the subgroup analysis by geographical region, elevated risk was detected among Europeans (OR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.00-1.29, p = 0.049). The present meta-analysis supported a positive association between high birth weight and bone tumor risk.

Keywords: Ewing sarcoma of bone; birth weight; bone tumor; chondrosarcoma; meta-analysis; osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Bone Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Odds Ratio
  • Osteosarcoma / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors