Birth weight and adult earnings: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Lambiris, M. J. and Blakstad, M. M. and Perumal, N. and Danaei, G. and Bliznashka, L. and Fink, G. and Sudfeld, C. R.. (2022) Birth weight and adult earnings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Dev Orig Health Dis, 13 (3). pp. 284-291.

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While substantial evidence has identified low birth weight (LBW; <2500 g) as a risk factor for early life morbidity, mortality and poor childhood development, relatively little is known on the links between birth weight and economic outcomes in adulthood. The objective of this study was to systematically review the economics (EconLit) and biomedical literature (Medline) and estimate the pooled association between birth weight and adult earnings. A total of 15 studies from mostly high-income countries were included. On average, each standard deviation increase in birth weight was associated with a 2.75% increase in annual earnings [(95% CI: 1.44 to 4.07); 9 estimates]. A negative, but not statistically significant, association was found between being born LBW and earnings, compared to individuals not born LBW [mean difference: -3.41% (95% CI: -7.55 to 0.73); 7 estimates]. No studies from low-income countries were identified and all studies were observational. Overall, birth weight was consistently associated with adult earnings, and therefore, interventions that improve birth weight may provide beneficial effects on adult economic outcomes.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Household Economics and Health Systems Research > Epidemiology and Household Economics (Fink)
06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Epidemiology and Household Economics (Fink)
UniBasel Contributors:Lambiris, Mark and Fink, G√ľnther
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:2040-1752 (Electronic)2040-1744 (Linking)
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Dec 2022 11:04
Deposited On:27 Dec 2022 11:04

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