Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood

the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study

Mark Pearce, K Mann, Gurmeet Singh, Susan Sayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

It has been suggested that in addition to genetic factors, fetal and post-natal growth influence cognition in early adulthood. However, most studies have been in developed populations, so it is unclear if the same findings would be seen in other, less developed, settings, and have used testing tools not applicable to an Australia Aboriginal population. This study investigated the relationships between cognitive function in early adulthood and birth weight and contemporary height. Simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT) and working memory (WM) were assessed using the CogState battery. A significant association was seen between birth weight and SRT in early adulthood, but not with the other two cognitive measures. Urban dwellers had significantly shorter SRT and CRT than their remote counterparts. Contemporary body mass index and maternal age were associated with CRT. Only fetal growth restriction was associated with WM, with greater WM in those with restricted growth. No associations were seen with contemporary height. These results suggest that fetal growth may be more important than the factors influencing post-natal growth in terms of cognition in early adulthood in this population, but that the associations may be inconsistent between cognitive outcomes. Further research is required to identify whether similar associations are seen in other, similar, populations and to assess why differences in cognitive outcome measures are seen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Fingerprint

Birth Weight
Cognition
Reaction Time
Cohort Studies
Parturition
Short-Term Memory
Fetal Development
Population
Growth
Maternal Age
Body Mass Index
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Research

Cite this

@article{8d9335a1ad154fc4af892e5ad62226c7,
title = "Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood: the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study",
abstract = "It has been suggested that in addition to genetic factors, fetal and post-natal growth influence cognition in early adulthood. However, most studies have been in developed populations, so it is unclear if the same findings would be seen in other, less developed, settings, and have used testing tools not applicable to an Australia Aboriginal population. This study investigated the relationships between cognitive function in early adulthood and birth weight and contemporary height. Simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT) and working memory (WM) were assessed using the CogState battery. A significant association was seen between birth weight and SRT in early adulthood, but not with the other two cognitive measures. Urban dwellers had significantly shorter SRT and CRT than their remote counterparts. Contemporary body mass index and maternal age were associated with CRT. Only fetal growth restriction was associated with WM, with greater WM in those with restricted growth. No associations were seen with contemporary height. These results suggest that fetal growth may be more important than the factors influencing post-natal growth in terms of cognition in early adulthood in this population, but that the associations may be inconsistent between cognitive outcomes. Further research is required to identify whether similar associations are seen in other, similar, populations and to assess why differences in cognitive outcome measures are seen.",
keywords = "adolescent, Australia, birth weight, cognition, cohort analysis, controlled study, ethnology, female, follow up, human, intrauterine growth retardation, male, Oceanic ancestry group, photostimulation, physiology, procedures, prospective study, psychology, psychomotor performance, randomized controlled trial, reaction time, short term memory, young adult, Adolescent, Birth Weight, Cognition, Cohort Studies, Female, Fetal Growth Retardation, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Oceanic Ancestry Group, Photic Stimulation, Prospective Studies, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Young Adult",
author = "Mark Pearce and K Mann and Gurmeet Singh and Susan Sayers",
year = "2014",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1017/S2040174414000063",
language = "English",
volume = "5",
pages = "240--247",
journal = "Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease",
issn = "2040-1744",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "3",

}

Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood : the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study. / Pearce, Mark; Mann, K; Singh, Gurmeet; Sayers, Susan.

In: Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Vol. 5, No. 3, 06.2014, p. 240-247.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood

T2 - the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study

AU - Pearce, Mark

AU - Mann, K

AU - Singh, Gurmeet

AU - Sayers, Susan

PY - 2014/6

Y1 - 2014/6

N2 - It has been suggested that in addition to genetic factors, fetal and post-natal growth influence cognition in early adulthood. However, most studies have been in developed populations, so it is unclear if the same findings would be seen in other, less developed, settings, and have used testing tools not applicable to an Australia Aboriginal population. This study investigated the relationships between cognitive function in early adulthood and birth weight and contemporary height. Simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT) and working memory (WM) were assessed using the CogState battery. A significant association was seen between birth weight and SRT in early adulthood, but not with the other two cognitive measures. Urban dwellers had significantly shorter SRT and CRT than their remote counterparts. Contemporary body mass index and maternal age were associated with CRT. Only fetal growth restriction was associated with WM, with greater WM in those with restricted growth. No associations were seen with contemporary height. These results suggest that fetal growth may be more important than the factors influencing post-natal growth in terms of cognition in early adulthood in this population, but that the associations may be inconsistent between cognitive outcomes. Further research is required to identify whether similar associations are seen in other, similar, populations and to assess why differences in cognitive outcome measures are seen.

AB - It has been suggested that in addition to genetic factors, fetal and post-natal growth influence cognition in early adulthood. However, most studies have been in developed populations, so it is unclear if the same findings would be seen in other, less developed, settings, and have used testing tools not applicable to an Australia Aboriginal population. This study investigated the relationships between cognitive function in early adulthood and birth weight and contemporary height. Simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT) and working memory (WM) were assessed using the CogState battery. A significant association was seen between birth weight and SRT in early adulthood, but not with the other two cognitive measures. Urban dwellers had significantly shorter SRT and CRT than their remote counterparts. Contemporary body mass index and maternal age were associated with CRT. Only fetal growth restriction was associated with WM, with greater WM in those with restricted growth. No associations were seen with contemporary height. These results suggest that fetal growth may be more important than the factors influencing post-natal growth in terms of cognition in early adulthood in this population, but that the associations may be inconsistent between cognitive outcomes. Further research is required to identify whether similar associations are seen in other, similar, populations and to assess why differences in cognitive outcome measures are seen.

KW - adolescent

KW - Australia

KW - birth weight

KW - cognition

KW - cohort analysis

KW - controlled study

KW - ethnology

KW - female

KW - follow up

KW - human

KW - intrauterine growth retardation

KW - male

KW - Oceanic ancestry group

KW - photostimulation

KW - physiology

KW - procedures

KW - prospective study

KW - psychology

KW - psychomotor performance

KW - randomized controlled trial

KW - reaction time

KW - short term memory

KW - young adult

KW - Adolescent

KW - Birth Weight

KW - Cognition

KW - Cohort Studies

KW - Female

KW - Fetal Growth Retardation

KW - Follow-Up Studies

KW - Humans

KW - Male

KW - Memory, Short-Term

KW - Oceanic Ancestry Group

KW - Photic Stimulation

KW - Prospective Studies

KW - Psychomotor Performance

KW - Reaction Time

KW - Young Adult

U2 - 10.1017/S2040174414000063

DO - 10.1017/S2040174414000063

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 240

EP - 247

JO - Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

JF - Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

SN - 2040-1744

IS - 3

ER -