Birth weight

Birth weight

LASA filenames:

Contact: Natasja van Schoor


In 1986, Barker suggested that poor nutrition in early life increases susceptibility to the effects of an affluent diet (Lancet, 1986). This early work led to the fetal origins hypothesis. This hypothesis states that fetal undernutrition in middle to late gestation, which leads to disproportionate fetal growth, programmes later coronary heart disease (BMJ 1995). In LASA, birth weight was assessed retrospectively, which makes it possible to study the effects of low birth weight on chronic diseases in later life.


Birth weight and the source of information were questioned using a self-administered questionnaire. Birth weight was asked for in # pounds or # grams. However, some participants interpreted this as # pounds and # grams. A check was done in 60 participants, and in 11 participants, the question was interpreted wrongly and had to be changed in the datafile. So, birth weight data can be used but all data should be checked first by the researchers.


LASAE134 / LAS2B134 / LAS3B134 (self-administered questionnaire, in Dutch)

Variable information

LASAE134 / LAS2B134 / LAS3B134

Availability of information per wave


Birth weight


¹ More information about the LASA data collection waves is available here.

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
3B=baseline third cohort;
MB=migrants: baseline first cohort

Sa=data collected in self-administered questionnaire

Previous use in LASA

There are no publications using birth weight data.


  1. Barker DJ, Osmond C. Infant mortality, childhood nutrition, and ischaemic heart disease in England and Wales. Lancet. 1986 May 10;1(8489):1077-81. PubMed PMID: 2871345.
  2. Barker DJ. Fetal origins of coronary heart disease. BMJ. 1995 Jul15;311(6998):171-4. Review. PubMed PMID: 7613432; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2550226.

Date of last update: February 25, 2019