Infant And Child Health
Association of Birth Length and Risk of Hospitalisation among Full-term Babies in Japan
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Volume 27, Issue 4, pages 361–370, July 2013
How to Cite
Kato, T., Yorifuji, T., Inoue, S., Doi, H. and Kawachi, I. (2013), Association of Birth Length and Risk of Hospitalisation among Full-term Babies in Japan. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 27: 361–370. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12062
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
- Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants
- Sumitomo Foundation
- birth length;
- birth weight;
- fetal growth;
Barker's fetal programming hypothesis suggests that disproportionate size at birth may have a lifelong impact on one's health. However, the literature on birth length is considerably more sparse compared with birthweight. We, therefore, examined the relationship between birth length and hospitalisation early in life among Japanese children.
We used the nationwide Longitudinal Survey of Babies in 21st Century and restricted the study subjects to full-term singleton babies (n = 44 057). We estimated the effects of birth length and birthweight on the risk of hospitalisation using log linear regression models. We controlled for a set of neonatal and maternal factors.
Birth length was associated with the chance of hospitalisation due to all causes between 6 and 18 months of age. In addition, the association was stronger than that with birthweight. Adjusted risk ratios showed that the relationship between birth length and hospitalisation was U-shaped: 1.16 [95% confidence intervals, 1.08, 1.25] at 30–48 cm, 1 [Reference] at 49 cm, 1.13 [1.04, 1.22] at 50 cm, and 1.11 [1.02, 1.20] at 51–60 cm. Short babies with low or high weight, as well as long babies with low weight, seem to be at increased risk of hospitalisation.
We found a U-shaped relationship between birth length and risk of hospitalisation due to all causes during the period from 6 to 18 months.