Low Birth Weight Increases the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young: A Nationwide Study of 2.2 Million People

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Background Sudden cardiac death (SCD) constitutes a major health problem worldwide. We investigated whether birth weight (BW), small for gestational age (SGA), and large for gestational age are associated with altered risk of SCD among the young (aged 1-36 years). Methods and Results We included all people born in Denmark from 1973 to 2008 utilizing the Danish Medical Birth Register. All SCDs in Denmark in 2000 to 2009 have previously been identified. We defined 5 BW groups, SGA, and large for gestational age as exposure and SCD as the outcome. We estimated the age-specific relative risk of SCD with 95% CI. Additionally, we investigated if SGA and large for gestational age are associated with pathological findings at autopsy. The study population for the BW analyses comprised 2 234 501 people with 389 SCD cases, and the SGA and large for gestational age analyses comprised 1 786 281 people with 193 SCD cases. The relative risk for SCD was 6.69 for people with BW between 1500 and 2499 g (95% CI, 2.38-18.80, P<0.001) and 5.89 for people with BW ≥4500 g (95% CI, 1.81-19.12, P=0.003) at age 5 years. BW 2500 to 3400 g was the reference group. Compared with an appropriate gestational age, the relative risk for SGA was 2.85 (95% CI, 1.35-6.00, P=0.006) at age 10 years. For the autopsied cases, the relative risk of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome at age 5 years was 4.19 for SGA (95% CI, 1.08-16.22, P=0.038). Conclusions We found an association between BW and SCD in the young, with an increased risk among SGA infants. In addition, we found an association between SGA and sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.

TidsskriftJournal of the American Heart Association
Udgave nummer7
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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