Birth weight and grip strength in young Swedish males: a longitudinal matched sibling analysis and across all body mass index ranges
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AuthorAhlqvist, Viktor H.; Persson, Margareta; Ortega, Francisco B; Tynelius, P.; Magnusson, Cecilia; Berglind, Daniel
Muscle strengthGestational ageAdult lifeBirth weight
Ahlqvist, V. H., Persson, M., Ortega, F. B., Tynelius, P., Magnusson, C., & Berglind, D. (2019). Birth weight and grip strength in young swedish males: a longitudinal matched sibling analysis and across all body mass index ranges. Scientific reports, 9(1), 9719.
Low birth weight is associated with a lower grip strength later in life. However, associations between birth weight among infants born at-term and factors driving associations between birth weight and grip strength are largely unknown. A cohort of 144,369 young men born at-term, including 10,791 individuals who had at least one male sibling/s, were followed until conscription where they performed a grip strength test. We used linear and non-linear regression analyses in the full cohort, and fixed-effects regression analyses in the sibling cohort, to address confounding by factors that are shared between siblings. After adjustment, each unit increase in birth weight z-score was associated with increases of 17.7 (95% CI, 17.2-18.2) and 13.4 (10.1-16.6) newton grip strength, which converts to approximately 1.8 and 1.4 kilogram-force in the full and within-families cohorts, respectively. The associations did not vary with young adulthood BMI. Birth weight, within the at-term range, is robustly positively associated with grip strength in young adulthood among men across all BMI categories and associations appears to be mainly driven by factors that are not shared between siblings. These findings underline the importance of recognizing the influence of low birth weight, also within the at-termrange, on young adulthood muscle strength.