The association of indicators of fetal growth with visual acuity and hearing among conscripts
Olsen, J., Sorensen, H. T., Steffensen, F. H., Sabroe, S., Gillman, M. W., Fischer, P., & Rothman, K. (2001). The association of indicators of fetal growth with visual acuity and hearing among conscripts. Epidemiology, 12(2), 235-238.
Impaired fetal growth is associated with increased susceptibility to several chronic diseases. We studied the association between birth weight, indicators of disproportional fetal growth, and impaired visual acuity and hearing in 4,300 conscripts from a well-defined region in Denmark from August 1, 1993, to July 31, 1994. From the standard health examination for conscripts, we obtained data on sight based on the Snellen's chart and data on hearing acuity based on audiometry. By means of record linkage, we obtained data on outcomes for the conscripts at birth from the Medical Birth Registry. From this registry, we have data on birth weight, gestational age, and birth length that were recorded from existing computerized registers based on the records of midwives. A birth weight of less than 3,000 gm and a body mass index at birth of less than 3.4 were associated with reduced visual acuity and impaired hearing. The results could be due to fetal brain programming or due to confounding, by early birth trauma or other factors