Entries in birth weight (2)


Vitamin D Deficiency May be Tied to Lower Birth Weight, Study Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study finds that a deficiency in vitamin D may be tied to lower birth weight, Health Day reports.

Researchers examined vitamin D levels in blood samples collected from over 2,000 women in the United States who gave birth to full-term babies. The samples were originally taken between 1959 and 1965, but were well preserved. The study found that women with vitamin D levels less than .015 parts per million during their first 26 weeks of pregnancy had babies who weighed an average of about 1.6 ounces less than normal, Health Day says.

Also, women who were deficient in vitamin D during their first 14 weeks of pregnancy were twice as likely to have babies whose weight was in the lowest 10 percent, which raises the risk of dying in the first month or developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes later in life. Study authors said a vitamin D deficiency could also cause a decrease in the hormones required to produce the glucose and fatty acids that provide the fetus with energy, according to Health Day.

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Children With Low Birth Weight More Prone to Autism, Study Shows

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Children weighing less than 4.4 pounds at birth may be more prone to autism spectrum disorders, a new study suggested.

The estimated prevalence of autism spectrum disorders reached five percent in a group of more than 1,100 low-birth-weight babies, Jennifer A. Pinto-Martin of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and colleagues found.

That prevalence was five times higher than expected from the general population, the group noted in the November issue of Pediatrics. Indeed, by comparison, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 0.9-percent prevalence among eight-year-olds across the United States in 2006.

"This prospective study, using rigorous diagnostic procedures, confirms that the rate of autism spectrum disorders is elevated among low birth weight/preterm survivors," the researchers wrote in the paper.

That low birth weight and prematurity put children at risk of cognitive and motor disability has been well established, but their link with autism spectrum disorders was largely through retrospective studies and those that screened without diagnostic confirmation, the group noted.

About three percent of children born in the United States weigh between 1.1 and 4.4 pounds at birth.
Pinto-Martin's group studied a population-representative group of 1,105 such infants followed in the Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage Study.

That study was done at three hospitals, covering 85 percent of low-birth-weight births in three central New Jersey counties from 1984 to 1987. At the time, these three counties were demographically comparable to the nation except for slightly higher incomes and slightly fewer minorities.

Low birth weight tended to be more often linked to autism spectrum disorders in boys than girls (9.9 percent versus 3.3 percent).

The lower the low birth weight, the higher the risk of autism spectrum disorders tended to be, with a 10.6 percent prevalence at less than 3.3 pounds versus 3.7 percent at 3.3 to 4.4 pounds at birth weight.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio