Objective: To investigate the relationship between intrauterine growth and renal function among Jamaican young adults.
Methods: Data from 744 participants from the Jamaica 1986 Birth Cohort Study were analysed. We evaluated the relationship between infant characteristics (birthweight and gestational age), maternal characteristics at child's birth (age and socio-economic status), and renal function at ages 18–20 years (using estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), calculated using the Schwartz-Lyon equation and urine albumin excretion), or prevalent chronic kidney disease (CKD; defined as eGFR < 60 ml/minute/1.73 m2 or urinary albumin ≥ 30 mg/g creatinine). Associations were examined using multi-level mixed effects regression models.
Results: The mean eGFR was 86.3 ml/minute/1.73 m2 among males and 102.4 ml/minute/1.73 m2 among females (p < 0.001). The prevalence of CKD was 8.3% (7.4% males, 9.1% females, p = 0.387). Birthweight was not significantly associated with eGFR in unadjusted models, but after adjustment for potential confounders/mediators (gender, blood pressure, body mass index, maternal occupation and education), individuals born with a low birthweight (< 2.5 kg) had a 5.1% lower eGFR compared to those with a normal birthweight (ß = -0.052, p = 0.002). Furthermore, a one standard deviation increase in birthweight was associated with a 2.2% increase in eGFR (ß = 0.022, p = 0.044). No statistically significant associations were observed between early life factors and urinary albumin or CKD in adjusted models.
Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of CKD in this Afro-Caribbean young population. Lower birthweight was associated with reduced renal function in early adulthood, which may result in an increased risk of CKD later on in adulthood. Early life interventions may also be warranted in addressing the CKD epidemic.