Importance of the environment for gestational duration variability and correlation between relatives - results from the Medical Swedish Birth Registry, 1973-2012
Review article, 2020

It has been suggested that the intergenerational associations in gestational age at delivery are considerably affected by temporal changes in the environmental conditions. We explored whether changing environment affects familial resemblance of gestational age at delivery. Understanding how correlation changes in different settings allows to design better studies aimed to detect genes and environmental factors involved in the parturition process. The Swedish Medical Birth Register was used to retrieve births during 1973-2012. In total, 454,433 parent-child, 2,247,062 full sibling, 405,116 maternal half-sibling and 469,995 paternal half-sibling pairs were identified. A decreasing trend in correlation, associated with increasing age gaps, was observed among all siblings, with the largest drop for full siblings, from p = 0.32 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.31, 0.33) for full siblings with one-year gap to p = 0.16 (95% CI: 0.10, 0.22) for full siblings with age gap above 20 years. A variation in association between full siblings born up to two years apart was observed; estimate p = 0.28 (95% CI: 0.26, 0.3) in 1973, and p = 0.36 (95% CI: 0.33, 0.38) in 2012. Observed variability in the association in gestational age at delivery between the relatives with respect to their birth year or age gap suggests the existence of temporally changing environmental factors.

Author

Dominika Modzelewska

University of Gothenburg

Pol Sole-Navais

University of Gothenburg

G. Zhang

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

University of Cincinnati

L. J. Muglia

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Staffan Nilsson

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Bo Jacobsson

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

University of Gothenburg

PLoS ONE

1932-6203 (ISSN)

Vol. 15 7 July e0236494

Subject Categories

Pediatrics

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0236494

PubMed

32706811

More information

Latest update

9/23/2020