Low Birth Weight May Be Risk for Developing High Blood Pressure
Like Poulter, Dwyer and colleagues list unequal distribution of nutrients and oxygen as a possible factor that could be associated with birth weight and blood pressure. They write that reduced nutrient and oxygen availability could lead to permanent adverse programming of the cardiovascular system.
Finally, words of caution from Poulter. "We are not saying maternal smoking [isn't responsible] for small babies; we are not saying that diet doesn't affect the size of the baby," he says. "What we are saying is that it isn't those maternal [factors] which produce a spurious association between birth weight and blood pressure; it is a real association, independent of what the parents do."
"And this also doesn't say that if you're born small, you've had it, you are bound to get hypertension [high blood pressure], or if you are born fat you are bound not to get hypertension," cautions Poulter. "It in no way suggests that the major environmental factors aren't still very valid."