Birth weight: nature or nurture?

Early Hum Dev. 1995 May 12;42(1):29-35. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(95)01637-i.


Objective: To investigate the relative role of environmental and genetic factors in the determination of birth weight following ovum donation.

Methods: Data from 62 cases of ovum donation were used to examine the relative influence of donor and recipient on birth weight.

Results: The only discernible factors that significantly influenced birth weight were gestational age and recipient's weight. Donor weight, her own birth weight, and the birth weight of the donor's own children were not significantly correlated with the birth weight of the child following ovum donation.

Conclusions: It is concluded that the environment provided by the human mother is more important than her genetic contribution to birth weight.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology
  • Asians / genetics
  • Birth Weight / genetics*
  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Blacks / genetics
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oocyte Donation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Whites / genetics