Birth weight and risk of adiposity among adult Inuit in Greenland

Pernille Falberg Rønn, Lærke Steenberg Smith, Gregers Stig Andersen, Bendix Carstensen, Peter Bjerregaard, Marit Eika Jørgensen

10 Citationer (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The Inuit population in Greenland has undergone rapid socioeconomic and nutritional changes simultaneously with an increasing prevalence of obesity. Therefore, the objective was to examine fetal programming as part of the aetiology of obesity among Inuit in Greenland by investigating the association between birth weight and measures of body composition and fat distribution in adulthood.

METHODS: The study was based on cross-sectional data from a total of 1,473 adults aged 18-61 years in two population-based surveys conducted in Greenland between 1999-2001 and 2005-2010. Information on birth weight was collected from birth records. Adiposity was assessed by anthropometry, fat mass index (FMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI), and visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) estimated by ultrasound. The associations to birth weight were analyzed using linear regression models and quadratic splines. Analyses were stratified by sex, and adjusted for age, birthplace, ancestry and family history of obesity.

RESULTS: Spline analyses showed linear relations between birth weight and adult adiposity. In multiple regression analyses, birth weight was positively associated with BMI, waist circumference, FMI, FFMI and SAT with generally weaker associations among women compared to men. Birth weight was only associated with VAT after additional adjustment for waist circumference and appeared to be specific and inverse for men only.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher birth weight among Inuit was associated with adiposity in adulthood. More studies are needed to explore a potential inverse association between birth size and VAT.

TidsskriftP L o S One
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)e115976
StatusUdgivet - 2014
Udgivet eksterntJa


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