Contribution of birth weight to mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes: two-sample Mendelian randomisation.

TitleContribution of birth weight to mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes: two-sample Mendelian randomisation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsOrri M, Pingault J-B, Turecki G, Nuyt A-M, Tremblay RE, Côté SM, Geoffroy M-C
JournalBr J Psychiatry
Pagination1-8
Date Published2021 Feb 15
ISSN1472-1465
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Low birth weight is associated with adult mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic problems. However, the causal nature of these associations remains difficult to establish owing to confounding.AIMS: To estimate the contribution of birth weight to adult mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes using two-sample Mendelian randomisation, an instrumental variable approach strengthening causal inference.METHOD: We used 48 independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms as genetic instruments for birth weight (genome-wide association studies' total sample: n = 264 498) and considered mental health (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, suicide attempt), cognitive (intelligence) and socioeconomic (educational attainment, income, social deprivation) outcomes.RESULTS: We found evidence for a contribution of birth weight to ADHD (OR for 1 s.d. unit decrease (~464 g) in birth weight, 1.29; 95% CI 1.03-1.62), PTSD (OR = 1.69; 95% CI 1.06-2.71) and suicide attempt (OR = 1.39; 95% CI 1.05-1.84), as well as for intelligence (β = -0.07; 95% CI -0.13 to -0.02) and socioeconomic outcomes, i.e. educational attainment (β = -0.05; 95% CI -0.09 to -0.01), income (β = -0.08; 95% CI -0.15 to -0.02) and social deprivation (β = 0.08; 95% CI 0.03-0.13). However, no evidence was found for a contribution of birth weight to the other examined mental health outcomes. Results were consistent across a wide range of sensitivity analyses.CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the hypothesis that birth weight could be an important element on the causal pathway to mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes.

DOI10.1192/bjp.2021.15
Alternate JournalBr J Psychiatry
PubMed ID33583444