Objective: To investigate the relationship between intra-uterine growth and renal function among Jamaican young adults.
Methods: Data from 744 participants from the Jamaica 1986 Birth Cohort Study were analyzed. We evaluated the relationship between infant characteristics (birth weight; gestational age), maternal characteristics at child’s birth (age; socio-economic status), and renal function at age 18-20 years old (using estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR], calculated using the Schwartz-Lyon equation and urine albumin excretion) and prevalent chronic kidney disease (CKD), defined as eGFR <60ml/min/1.73 m2 or urinary albumin ≥30mg/g creatinine. Associations were examined using multi-level mixed effects regression models.
Results: Mean eGFR was 86.3 ml/min/1.73 m2 among males and 102.4 ml/min/1.73m2 among females (p<0.001). The prevalence of CKD was 8.3% (7.4% males, 9.1% females, p<0.001). Birth weight was not significantly associated with eGFR in unadjusted models, but after adjustment for potential confounders/mediators (gender, blood pressure, BMI, maternal occupation and education) individuals born with low birth weight (<2500g) had a 5.1% lower eGFR compared to those with normal birth weight (b, 0.052, p=0.002). Furthermore, a one standard deviation increase in birth weight was associated with a 2.2% increase in eGFR (b, 0.022, p=0.044). No 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 young Afro-Caribbean population. Lower birth weight 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.