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Birth weight within the normal range is associated with a variety of adult-onset diseases, but the mechanisms behind these associations are poorly understood. Previous genome-wide association studies of birth weight identified a variant in the ADCY5 gene associated both with birth weight and type 2 diabetes and a second variant, near CCNL1, with no obvious link to adult traits. In an expanded genome-wide association meta-analysis and follow-up study of birth weight (of up to 69,308 individuals of European descent from 43 studies), we have now extended the number of loci associated at genome-wide significance to 7, accounting for a similar proportion of variance as maternal smoking. Five of the loci are known to be associated with other phenotypes: ADCY5 and CDKAL1 with type 2 diabetes, ADRB1 with adult blood pressure and HMGA2 and LCORL with adult height. Our findings highlight genetic links between fetal growth and postnatal growth and metabolism.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature genetics

Publication Date





76 - 82


Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Meta-Analyses of Glucose- and Insulin-related traits Consortium (MAGIC), Early Growth Genetics (EGG) Consortium, Humans, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Birth Weight, Body Height, Fetal Development, Blood Pressure, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Quantitative Trait Loci, Adult, Infant, Newborn, Female, Male, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Genome-Wide Association Study, Genetic Linkage