Physique at Birth and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Japanese Urban Residents: the KOBE Study

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2022 Feb 1;29(2):188-199. doi: 10.5551/jat.61069. Epub 2020 Dec 9.


Aim: This study investigated the relationship between birth physique and cardiovascular risk factors in Japanese urban residents aged 40 years and more.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire on birth physique was performed among 624 individuals (165 men and 459 women) who participated in the KOBE study. We examined whether self-reported birth physique and available recorded birth weights matched for 72 participants. Then the association between birth physique and risk factors for all participants was examined by gender. Body size at birth in the questionnaire (large, medium, small) was set as an exposure and laboratory values from the baseline survey (2010-2011) were used as outcomes.

Results: Mean (standard deviation) recorded birth weight of 72 participants was 3665 (318), 3051 (300), and 2653 (199) g, in the large, medium, and small group, respectively. In the analysis for all participants, odds ratio for having both hypertension and impaired glucose tolerance were significantly higher in the small versus large birth weight group, which was 7.42 (95% CI 1.75-31.50) for men and 4.44 (95% CI 1.14-17.30) for women after adjusting for age, body mass index, smoking/alcohol/exercise habits, and menstrual status in women. Similar results were observed in participants with recorded birth weight.

Conclusions: The present study indicates that individuals with small physique at birth might be at higher risk for hypertension and impaired glucose tolerance in middle age compared to those with large birth weight.

Keywords: Birth weight; Epidemiologic study; Hypertension; Impaired glucose tolerance; Physique at birth.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Size*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population