Skip to main content

Table 2 Summary of evidence grading for meta-analyses associating different contrasts of birth weight and risk of future disease

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

Level of evidence Criteria Low birth weight vs. normal birth weight High birth weight vs. normal birth weight Per unit/SD increase SGA vs. AGA
Increased risk in LBW group Decreased risk in LBW group Increased risk in HBW group Decreased risk in HBW group Increased risk per unit/SD increase Decreased risk per unit/SD increase Increased risk in SGA group
Convincing >1000 cases, P < 1 × 10−6, I2 < 50 %, 95 % PI excluding the null value, no small-study effects and excess significance bias All-cause mortality None None None BMC in hip Mortality from cardiovascular diseases Childhood stunting (in BW ≥ 2500 g group)
Highly suggestive >1000 cases, P < 1 × 10−6, largest study with a statistically significant effect Perinatal mortality in developing countries, wheezing disorders in childhood, coronary heart disease Overweight or obese in adulthood, intelligence in adolescence All types of leukaemia, overweight or obese in adulthood None None Muscle strength, coronary heart disease, maternal cardiovascular mortality, paternal cardiovascular mortality None
Suggestive >1000 cases, P < 1 × 10−3 Asthma in adulthood, RSV-related acute lower respiratory infections in childhood, chronic kidney disease None Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, type 1 diabetes mellitus None BMC in lumbar spine, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, all types of leukaemia, FEV1, mortality from cancer Waist-to-hip ratio, all-cause mortality, type 2 diabetes mellitus Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Weak The remaining associations with P < 0.05 Diastolic blood pressure, testicular cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, pneumonia in childhood, school-age asthma, systolic blood pressure Atopic dermatitis Acute myeloid leukaemia, astrocytoma, medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, type 2 diabetes mellitus Coronary heart disease Breast cancer at any age, lung cancer, melanoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma Cortisol levels, total cholesterol in men Childhood stunting (in BW < 2500 g group)
  1. AGA adequate-for-gestational age, BMC bone mineral concentration, BW birth weight, FEV 1 forced expiratory volume in the first second, HBW high birth weight, LBW low birth weight, SD standard deviation, SGA small-for-gestational age, RSV respiratory syncytial virus