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High birth weight and perinatal mortality among siblings: A register based study in Norway, 1967-2011

Background: Perinatal mortality according to birth weight has an inverse J-pattern. Our aim was to estimate the influence of familial factors on this pattern, applying a cohort sibling design. We focused on excess mortality among macrosomic infants (>2 SD above the mean) and hypothesized that the birth weight-mortality association could be explained by confounding shared family factors. We also estimated how the participant’s deviation from mean sibling birth weight influenced the association. Methods and findings: We included 1 925 929 singletons, born term or post-term to mothers with more than one delivery 1967–2011 registered in the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. We examined z-score birth weight and perinatal mortality in random-effects and sibling fixed-effects logistic regression models including measured confounders (e.g. maternal diabetes) as well as unmeasured shared family confounders (through fixed effects models). Birth weight-specific mortality showed an inverse J-pattern, being lowest (2.0 per 1000) at reference weight (z-score +1 to +2) and increasing for higher weights. Mortality in the highest weight category was 15-fold higher than reference. This pattern changed little in multivariable models. Deviance from mean sibling birth weight modified the mortality pattern across the birth weight spectrum: small and medium-sized infants had increased mortality when being...

Kristensen, Petter; Keyes, Katherine M.; Susser, Ezra; Corbett, Karina; Mehlum, Ingrid Sivesind; Irgens, Lorentz M.
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