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Birth weight in relation to health and disease in later life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, September 2016
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  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (70th percentile)

Mentioned by

7 tweeters


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Readers on

142 Mendeley
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Birth weight in relation to health and disease in later life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Published in
BMC Medicine, September 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12916-016-0692-5
Pubmed ID

Lazaros Belbasis, Makrina D. Savvidou, Chidimma Kanu, Evangelos Evangelou, Ioanna Tzoulaki


Birth weight, a marker of the intrauterine environment, has been extensively studied in epidemiological research in relation to subsequent health and disease. Although numerous meta-analyses have been published examining the association between birth weight and subsequent health-related outcomes, the epidemiological credibility of these associations has not been thoroughly assessed. The objective of this study is to map the diverse health outcomes associated with birth weight and evaluate the credibility and presence of biases in the reported associations. An umbrella review was performed to identify systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies investigating the association between birth weight and subsequent health outcomes and traits. For each association, we estimated the summary effect size by random-effects and fixed-effects models, the 95 % confidence interval, and the 95 % prediction interval. We also assessed the between-study heterogeneity, evidence for small-study effects and excess significance bias. We further applied standardized methodological criteria to evaluate the epidemiological credibility of the statistically significant associations. Thirty-nine articles including 78 associations between birth weight and diverse outcomes met the eligibility criteria. A wide range of health outcomes has been studied, ranging from anthropometry and metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular risk factors, various cancers, respiratory diseases and allergies, musculoskeletal traits and perinatal outcomes. Forty-seven of 78 associations presented a nominally significant summary effect and 21 associations remained statistically significant at P < 1 × 10(-6). Thirty associations presented large or very large between-study heterogeneity. Evidence for small-study effects and excess significance bias was present in 13 and 16 associations, respectively. One association with low birth weight (increased risk for all-cause mortality), two dose-response associations with birth weight (higher bone mineral concentration in hip and lower risk for mortality from cardiovascular diseases per 1 kg increase in birth weight) and one association with small-for-gestational age infants with normal birth weight (increased risk for childhood stunting) presented convincing evidence. Eleven additional associations had highly suggestive evidence. The range of outcomes convincingly associated with birth weight might be narrower than originally described under the "fetal origin hypothesis" of disease. There is weak evidence that birth weight constitutes an effective public health intervention marker.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 142 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Korea, Republic of 1 <1%
Greece 1 <1%
Unknown 140 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 24 17%
Student > Master 20 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 13%
Researcher 14 10%
Student > Postgraduate 11 8%
Other 29 20%
Unknown 25 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 53 37%
Nursing and Health Professions 16 11%
Social Sciences 7 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 7 5%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 3%
Other 19 13%
Unknown 36 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 October 2016.
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
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Altmetric has tracked 12,976,034 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 74th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,073 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.6. This one is in the 28th percentile – i.e., 28% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 264,581 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them