Reduced kidney function and hypertension in adolescents with low birth weight, NHANES 1999–2016

Kaye E. Brathwaite, Rebecca V. Levy, Harini Sarathy, Ilir Agalliu, Tanya S. Johns, Kimberly J. Reidy, Jeffrey J. Fadrowski, George J. Schwartz, Frederick J. Kaskel, Michal L. Melamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major health problem, and the risk of CKD and hypertension in children born low birth weight (LBW) is under-recognized. We hypothesized that children born with LBW would have a higher prevalence of reduced kidney function and hypertension. Methods: Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate whether LBW (< 2500 g), very low birth weight (VLBW < 1500 g), and large birth weight (BW) (> 4000 g) were associated with kidney disease using 4 different estimating equations. We used the Counahan–Barratt, updated Schwartz, CKiD-U25, and full age spectrum creatinine-based GFR estimating equations to evaluate associations between a history of LBW/VLBW/large BW and reduced kidney function (eGFR < 90 mL/min/1.73 m2) in children. We also assessed blood pressure (BP) using the old and new pediatric hypertension guidelines. Results: Our analysis included 6336 children (age 12–15 years) in NHANES representing over 13 million US individuals. Using the updated Schwartz, the prevalence of reduced kidney function was 30.1% (25.2–35.6) for children born with LBW compared to 22.4% (20.5–24.3) in children with normal BW. Equations yielded different estimates of prevalence of reduced kidney function in LBW from 21.5% for Counahan–Barratt to 35.4% for CKiD-U25. Compared to those with normal BW, participants with LBW and VLBW had a 7.2 and 10.3% higher prevalence of elevated BP and a 2.4 and 14.6% higher prevalence of hypertension, respectively. Conclusions: Children born with LBW are at higher risk of reduced kidney function and hypertension than previously described. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3071-3082
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Children
  • Estimated GFR
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Low birth weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced kidney function and hypertension in adolescents with low birth weight, NHANES 1999–2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this