Effect of maternal and infant covariates on sibship correlation in birth weight

TH Beaty, P. Yang, A. Muñoz, MJ Khoury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Birth weight on 12,644 singleton infants from 6,196 sibships born in Maryland between 1980 and 1984 were used to estimate the effects of nine maternal and infant covariates on the sibship correlation in birth weight. Assuming a homogeneous correlation across all families, the estimated intraclass correlation was 0.4664 (± 0.0099). This high sibship correlation makes it possible to predict, with reasonable accuracy, the birth weight of a child given information on previous sibs, as well as covariates on the mother and/or infant pertinent to a given pregnancy. The reduction in variance associated with incorporating information on the nine covariates used here was approximately equal to that obtained by conditioning on a single previous sib. Testing for heterogeneity in correlation among different groups of families showed that a crude measure of parity (first live birth vs. other), time between births, mother's marital status, and maternal age at the birth of the last child significantly influenced the sibship correlation in birth weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalGenetic epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


  • birth certificates
  • intraclass correlation
  • record linkage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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