Early life influences kidney function at age 63-64 years, but so does adult body size: results from the newcastle thousand families birth cohort

Stephanie L Harrison, Kay D Mann, Mark S Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: It is suggested that impaired fetal growth can affect kidney development, resulting in fewer glomeruli being formed and reduced kidney function later in life. The aim of this study was to investigate early life variables in relation to adult kidney function, and compare these to the influence of later life variables.

METHODS: Detailed information was collected prospectively regarding 1,142 babies, born in 1947 in Newcastle upon Tyne. At the age of 63-64 years, 335 participants had serum creatinine successfully measured and completed a lifestyle questionnaire. These measurements were used to calculate their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

RESULTS: Body mass index (BMI) and being female were significantly negatively associated with eGFR. Birth weight was significantly positively associated with eGFR. In sex-specific analyses, BMI and cigarette smoking remained significant for males (n = 154), with a near significant association for birth weight, whereas none of the variables remained significant for females (n = 181).

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that sex, size at birth and BMI may be important variables influencing adult kidney function. However, as only a small amount of variance in eGFR was explained by these variables, additional longitudinal studies would be beneficial for assessing lifecourse influences on kidney function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e66660
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Birth Weight
  • Body Size
  • England
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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