Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Birth size and cancer prognosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Shantanu Sharma (a1), Charu Kohli (a2), Linda Johnson (a1), Louise Bennet (a1), Nele Brusselaers (a3) and Peter M. Nilsson (a1)...

Abstract

There is an established link between birth parameters and risk of adult-onset cancers. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept provides potential underlying mechanisms for such associations, including intrauterine exposure to endogenous hormones (androgens and estrogens), insulin-like growth factors, etc. However, there is conflicting evidence on the association between birth parameters and the cancer mortality risk. Therefore, we aimed to review and analyse the available data on the association linking birth weight and birth length with cancer mortality. Eleven studies were identified, published until April 2019. A significant association between birth weight and the prognosis of cancer (overall) was found (relative risk, RR 1.06, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.01, 1.11), with low heterogeneity (I2 = 27.7%). In addition, higher birth weight was associated with poorer prognosis of prostate cancer (RR 1.21, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.44). However, the association of birth weight with breast cancer mortality risk in women was not significant (RR 1.16, 95% CI: 0.93, 1.44), which might be due to high statistical heterogeneity (I2 = 67.9%). Birth length was not associated with cancer mortality risk (RR 1.0, 95% CI: 0.90–1.11). It might be inferred that birth parameters are not associated with cancer mortality as strongly as with the risk of developing cancer. Also, the association between birth parameters and cancer mortality risk is not uniform and varies according to its subtypes, and study characteristics/design. This highlights the need for further prospective studies.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Birth size and cancer prognosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Birth size and cancer prognosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Birth size and cancer prognosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Shantanu Sharma, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Internal Medicine Research Group, Jan Waldenstrom’s gata 15, floor 5, Skane University Hospital, S-20502 Malmö, Sweden. Email: shantanu.sharma@med.lu.se

References

Hide All
1. Clarke, MA, Joshu, CE. Early life exposures and adult cancer risk. Epidemiol Rev. 2017; 39(1), 1127.
2. Belbasis, L, Savvidou, MD, Kanu, C, Evangelou, E, Tzoulaki, I. Birth weight in relation to health and disease in later life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. BMC Med. 2016; 14, 147.
3. Gage, SH, Munafò, MR, Smith, GD. Causal inference in developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) research. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2016; 67, 567585.
4. Spracklen, CN, Wallace, RB, Jefferson, SS, et al. Birth weight and subsequent risk of cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. 2014; 38, 538543.
5. Gluckman, PD, Hanson, MA. The developmental environment and the early origins of cancer. In Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (eds. Gluckman, P, Hanson, M), 2006; pp. 415422. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
6. Risnes, KR, Vatten, LJ, Baker, JL, et al. Birthweight and mortality in adulthood: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 2011; 40, 647661.
7. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of nonrandomised studies in meta-analyses. Retrieved 21 April 2019 from http://www.ohri.ca/programs/clinical_epidemiology/oxford.asp.
8. Ekbom, AS, Hsieh, CC, Lipworth, L, et al. Perinatal characteristics in relation to incidence of and mortality from prostate cancer. BMJ. 1996; 313, 337341.
9. Leon, DA, Lithell, HO, Vâgerö, D, et al. Reduced fetal growth rate and increased risk of death from ischaemic heart disease: cohort study of 15 000 Swedish men and women born 1915–29. BMJ. 1998; 317, 241245.
10. Syddall, HE, Sayer, AA, Simmonds, SJ, et al. Birth weight, infant weight gain, and cause-specific mortality: the Hertfordshire cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2005; 161, 10741080.
11. Kajantie, E, Osmond, C, Barker, DJP, et al. Size at birth as a predictor of mortality in adulthood: a follow-up of 350 000 person-years. Int J Epidemiol. 2005; 34, 655663.
12. Sanderson, M, Daling, JR, Doody, DR, Malone, KE. Perinatal factors and mortality from breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006; 15, 19841987.
13. Eriksson, M, Wedel, H, Wallander, MA, et al. The impact of birth weight on prostate cancer incidence and mortality in a population-based study of men born in 1913 and followed up from 50 to 85 years of age. Prostate. 2007; 67, 12471254.
14. Baker, JL, Olsen, LW, Sørensen, TIA. Weight at birth and all-cause mortality in adulthood. Epidemiol. 2008; 19, 197203.
15. Mæhle, BO, Vatten, LJ, Tretli, S. Birth length and weight as predictors of breast cancer prognosis. BMC Cancer. 2010; 10, 115.
16. Sovio, U, Jones, R, Silva, IDS, Koupil, I. Birth size and survival in breast cancer patients from the Uppsala Birth Cohort Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2013; 24, 1643.
17. Wennerström, ECM, Simonsen, J, Melbye, M. Long-term survival of individuals born small and large for gestational age. PLoS ONE. 2015; 10, e0138594.
18. Gerdtsson, A, Poon, BY, Thorek, DLJ, et al. Anthropometric measures at multiple times throughout life and prostate cancer diagnosis, metastasis, and death. Eur Uro. 2015; 68, 10761082.
19. Zhou, CK, Sutcliffe, S, Welsh, J, et al. Is birthweight associated with total and aggressive/lethal prostate cancer risks? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2016; 114, 839.
20. Xue, F, Michels, KB. Intrauterine factors and risk of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of current evidence. Lancet Oncol. 2007; 8, 10881100.
21. Stringhini, S, Carmeli, C, Jokela, M, et al. Socioeconomic status and the 25 × 25 risk factors as determinants of premature mortality: a multicohort study and meta-analysis of 1·7 million men and women. Lancet. 2017; 389, 12291237.
22. Beau, AB, Andersen, PK, Vejborg, I, Lynge, E. Limitations in the effect of screening on breast cancer mortality. J Clin Oncol. 2018; 36, JCO2018780270.
23. McCormack, VA, Silva, IDS, Koupil, I, Leon, DA, Lithell, HO. Birth characteristics and adult cancer incidence: Swedish cohort of over 11,000 men and women. Int J Cancer. 2005; 115, 611617.
24. Tettamanti, G, Ljung, R, Mathiesen, T, Schwartzbaum, J, Feychting, M. Birth size characteristics and risk of brain tumors in early adulthood: results from a Swedish Cohort Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016; 25, 678685.
25. Tudur Smith, C, Marcucci, M, Nolan, SJ, et al. Individual participant data meta-analyses compared with meta-analyses based on aggregate data. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; 9. Art. No.: MR000007. doi: 10.1002/14651858.MR000007.pub3.

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Sharma et al. supplementary material
Figures S1-S4

 PDF (497 KB)
497 KB

Birth size and cancer prognosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Shantanu Sharma (a1), Charu Kohli (a2), Linda Johnson (a1), Louise Bennet (a1), Nele Brusselaers (a3) and Peter M. Nilsson (a1)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed