High birthweight increases adult arthritis risk

July 1, 2008

Babies who weigh more than 10 pounds at birth are twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as adults compared to babies with an average birthweight, reported researchers in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Babies who weigh more than 10 pounds at birth are twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as adults compared to babies with an average birthweight, reported researchers in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

A study of 87,077 women in the Nurses' Health Study, 619 of whom developed rheumatoid arthritis, showed that a birthweight of 4.54 kg was linked to a twofold increased risk of adult rheumatoid arthritis.

In a separate set of findings, Statistics Canada, Canada's national statistical agency, has released data that reveal Canadian women who have a BMI greater than 30 tend to give birth to heavier babies and experience longer labors.

These two factors increase the likelihood of having to perform C-sections, which carry greater risks in obese women, according to the Society of Obstreticians and Gynaecologists of Canada.