Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Intrauterine environment and cognitive development in young twins

  • E. E. Antoniou (a1), T. Fowler (a2), E. Thiery (a3), T. R. Southwood (a4), S. van Gestel (a5), N. Jacobs (a6) (a7), R. Vlietinck (a5), J. van Os (a7), F. V. Rijsdijk (a8), C. Derom (a5) and M. P. Zeegers (a9)...

Abstract

Intrauterine factors important for cognitive development, such as birth weight, chorionicity and umbilical cord characteristics were investigated. A total of 663 twin pairs completed the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised and scores were available for Performance, Verbal and Total Intelligence Quotient (IQ). The intrauterine factors examined were birth weight, placental weight and morphology, cord knots, cord length and cord insertion. IQ scores for the varying levels of the intrauterine markers adjusting for gender and gestational age were calculated. The heritability of IQ and the association between IQ and intrauterine environment were examined. Twins with lower birth weight and cord knots had lower IQ scores. The aetiology of IQ is largely distinct from that of birth weight and cord knots, and non-shared environment may influence the observed relationships.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: E. E. Antoniou, Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. (Email eva.antoniou@maastrichtuniversity.nl)

Footnotes

Hide All

Shared last authorship.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
1.Hoet, JJ, Hanson, MA. Intrauterine nutrition: its importance during critical periods for cardiovascular and endocrine development. J Physiol. 1999; 514(Pt 3), 617627.
2.Barker, DJ, Martyn, CN. The maternal and fetal origins of cardiovascular disease. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1992; 46, 811.
3.Baird, J, Osmond, C, MacGregor, A, et al. Testing the fetal origins hypothesis in twins: the Birmingham twin study. Diabetologia. 2001; 44, 3339.
4.Law, CM, Barker, DJ, Bull, AR, Osmond, C. Maternal and fetal influences on blood pressure. Arch Dis Child. 1991; 66, 12911295.
5.Deary, IJ, Spinath, FM, Bates, TC. Genetics of intelligence. Eur J Hum Genet. 2006; 14, 690700.
6.Batty, GD, Deary, IJ. Early life intelligence and adult health. BMJ. 2004; 329, 585586.
7.Deary, IJ, Whiteman, MC, Starr, JM, Whalley, LJ, Fox, HC. The impact of childhood intelligence on later life: following up the Scottish mental surveys of 1932 and 1947. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004; 86, 130147.
8.Hart, CL, Taylor, MD, Davey Smith, G, et al. Childhood IQ, social class, deprivation, and their relationships with mortality and morbidity risk in later life: prospective observational study linking the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 and the Midspan studies. Psychosom Med. 2003; 65, 877883.
9.Bouchard, TJ Jr. Genetic and environmental influences on adult intelligence and special mental abilities. Hum Biol. 1998; 70, 257279.
10.Bergvall, N, Iliadou, A, Tuvemo, T, Cnattingius, S. Birth characteristics and risk of low intellectual performance in early adulthood: are the associations confounded by socioeconomic factors in adolescence or familial effects? Pediatrics. 2006; 117, 714721.
11.Posthuma, D, de Geus, EJ, Boomsma, DI. Perceptual speed and IQ are associated through common genetic factors. Behav Genet. 2001; 31, 593602.
12.Rijsdijk, FV, Vernon, PA, Boomsma, DI. Application of hierarchical genetic models to Raven and WAIS subtests: a Dutch twin study. Behav Genet. 2002; 32, 199210.
13.Hoekstra, RA, Bartels, M, Boomsma, DI. Longitudinal genetic study of verbal and nonverbal IQ from early childhood to young adulthood. Learn Individ Differ. 2007; 17, 97114.
14.Nichols, R. Twin studies of ability, personality and interests. Homo. 1978; 29, 158173.
15.Bouchard, TJ Jr. McGue, M. Familial studies of intelligence: a review. Science. 1981; 212, 10551059.
16.Bergen, SE, Gardner, CO, Kendler, KS. Age-related changes in heritability of behavioral phenotypes over adolescence and young adulthood: a meta-analysis. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2007; 10, 423433.
17.Breslau, N, DelDotto, JE, Brown, GG, et al. A gradient relationship between low birth weight and IQ at age 6 years. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994; 148, 377383.
18.Koeppen-Schomerus, G, Spinath, FM, Plomin, R. Twins and non-twin siblings: different estimates of shared environmental influence in early childhood. Twin Res. 2003; 6, 97105.
19.Wolke, D, Rizzo, P, Woods, S. Persistent infant crying and hyperactivity problems in middle childhood. Pediatrics. 2002; 109, 10541060.
20.Botting, N, Powls, A, Cooke, RW, Marlow, N. Cognitive and educational outcome of very-low-birthweight children in early adolescence. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1998; 40, 652660.
21.Boomsma, DI, van Beijsterveldt, CE, Rietveld, MJ, Bartels, M, van Baal, GC. Genetics mediate relation of birth weight to childhood IQ. BMJ. 2001; 323, 14261427.
22.Devlin, B, Daniels, M, Roeder, K. The heritability of IQ. Nature. 1997; 388, 468471.
23.Bleker, OP, Buimer, M, van der Post, JA, van der Veen, F. Ted (G.J.) Kloosterman: on intrauterine growth. The significance of prenatal care. Studies on birth weight, placental weight and placental index. Placenta. 2006; 27, 10521054.
24.Ananth, CV, Vintzileos, AM, Shen-Schwarz, S, Smulian, JC, Lai, YL. Standards of birth weight in twin gestations stratified by placental chorionicity. Obstet Gynecol. 1998; 91, 917924.
25.Naeye, RL, Benirschke, K, Hagstrom, JW, Marcus, CC. Intrauterine growth of twins as estimated from liveborn birth-weight data. Pediatrics. 1966; 37, 409416.
26.Gielen, M, Derom, C, Derom, R, Vlietinck, R, Zeegers, MP. Can birthweight discordancy within monozygotic twin pairs be used as an indicator of chorionicity? Twin Res Hum Genet. 2009; 12, 169174.
27.Knaus, HH. On the factors determining the size of the newborn. J Obstet Gynaecol Br Emp. 1949; 56, 856859.
28.Mc, KT, Record, RG. The influence of placental size on foetal growth in man, with special reference to multiple pregnancy. J Endocrinol. 1953; 9, 418426.
29.Papageorghiou, AT, Bakoulas, V, Sebire, NJ, Nicolaides, KH. Intrauterine growth in multiple pregnancies in relation to fetal number, chorionicity and gestational age. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 32, 890893.
30.Loos, RJ, Derom, C, Derom, R, Vlietinck, R. Birthweight in liveborn twins: the influence of the umbilical cord insertion and fusion of placentas. BJOG. 2001; 108, 943948.
31.Sarwono, E, Disse, WS, Oudesluys, M, Oosting, H, DeGroot, CJ. Umbilical cord length and intrauterine well-being. Peadiatr Indones. 1991; 31, 136140.
32.Benirschke, K, Kaufmann, P. Pathology of the Human Placenta, 1995. Springer-Verlag: New York.
33.Adinma, JIB. The umbilical cord: a study of 1000 consecutive deliveries. Int J Fertil. 1993; 38, 175179.
34.Baergen, RN, Malicki, D, Behling, C, Benirschke, K. Morbidity, mortality, and placental pathology in excessively long umbilical cords: retrospective study. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2001; 4, 144153.
35.Taweevisit, M, Thorner, PS. Massive fetal thrombotic vasculopathy associated with excessively long umbilical cord and fetal demise: case report and literature review. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2010; 13, 112115.
36.Heifetz, SA. The umbilical cord: obstetrically important lesions. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1996; 39, 571587.
37.Naeye, R. Umbilical cord length:clinical significance. J Pediatr. 1985; 107, 278281.
38.Naeye, RL, Peters, EC. Antenatal hypoxia and low IQ values. Am J Dis Child. 1987; 141, 5054.
39.Sornes, T. Umbilical cord encirclements and fetal growth restriction. Obstet Gynecol. 1995; 86, 725728.
40.Bhate, V, Deshpande, S, Bhat, D, et al. Vitamin B12 status of pregnant Indian women and cognitive function in their 9-year-old children. Food Nutr Bull. 2008; 29, 249254.
41.Posthuma, D, De Geus, EJ, Bleichrodt, N, Boomsma, DI. Twin-singleton differences in intelligence? Twin Res. 2000; 3, 8387.
42.Ronalds, GA, De Stavola, BL, Leon, DA. The cognitive cost of being a twin: evidence from comparisons within families in the Aberdeen children of the 1950s cohort study. BMJ. 2005; 331, 1306.
43.Gordon, N. Some influences on cognition in early life: a short review of recent opinions. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 1998; 2, 15.
44.Derom, C, Vlietinck, R, Thiery, E, et al. The East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS). Twin Res. 2002; 5, 337341.
45.Wechsler, D. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-R (Dutch version), 1986. Swets & Zeitlinger BV: Lisse.
46.Derom, R, Derom, C, Vlietinck, R. Placentation. In Mulitiple Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Gestation & Perinatal outcome (eds. Keith L, Papiernik E, Keith D, Luke B), 1995; pp. 113128. The Parthenon Publishing Group: New York.
47.Stata. Statistical Software, 2009. Stata Corp LP: College Station, TX.
48.Neale, MC, Cardon, LR. Methodology for Genetic Studies of Twins and Families, 1992. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.
49.Neale, MC. MX: Statistical Modelling, 1999. Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia: Richmond, VA.
50.van Beijsterveldt, CE, Felsenfeld, S, Boomsma, DI. Bivariate genetic analyses of stuttering and nonfluency in a large sample of 5-year-old twins. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2010; 53, 609619.
51.Luciano, M, Wright, MJ, Martin, NG. Exploring the etiology of the association between birthweight and IQ in an adolescent twin sample. Twin Res. 2004; 7, 6271.
52.Scrimshaw, N, Gordon, J. Proceedings of an International Conference on Malnutrition, Learning and Behaviour, 1967. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press ed: Cambridge.
53.Gordon, N. Nutrition and cognitive function. Brain Dev. 1997; 19, 165170.
54.Winick, M. Malnutrition and brain development. J Pediatr. 1969; 74, 667679.
55.Shenkin, SD, Starr, JM, Deary, IJ. Birth weight and cognitive ability in childhood: a systematic review. Psychol Bull. 2004; 130, 9891013.
56.Breslau, N. Psychiatric sequelae of low birth weight. Epidemiol Rev. 1995; 17, 96106.
57.Richards, M, Hardy, R, Kuh, D, Wadsworth, ME. Birth weight and cognitive function in the British 1946 birth cohort: longitudinal population based study. BMJ. 2001; 322, 199203.
58.Vlietinck, R, Derom, R, Neale, MC, et al. Genetic and environmental variation in the birth weight of twins. Behav Genet. 1989; 19, 151161.
59.Morton, NE. The inheritance of human birth weight. Ann Hum Genet. 1955; 20, 125134.
60.van Baal, CG, Boomsma, DI. Etiology of individual differences in birth weight of twins as a function of maternal smoking during pregnancy. Twin Res. 1998; 1, 123130.
61.Petersen, I, Jensen, VM, McGue, M, Bingley, P, Christensen, K. No evidence of genetic mediation in the association between birthweight and academic performance in 2,413 Danish adolescent twin pairs. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2009; 12, 564572.
62.Berger, A. Insulin-like growth factor and cognitive function. BMJ. 2001; 322, 203.
63.van Dam, PS, Aleman, A, de Vries, WR, et al. Growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor I and cognitive function in adults. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2000; 10(Suppl B), S69S73.
64.Gunnell, D, Miller, LL, Rogers, I, Holly, JM. Association of insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 with intelligence quotient among 8- to 9-year-old children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Pediatrics. 2005; 116, e681e686.
65.Lunde, A, Melve, KK, Gjessing, HK, Skjaerven, R, Irgens, LM. Genetic and environmental influences on birth weight, birth length, head circumference, and gestational age by use of population-based parent-offspring data. Am J Epidemiol. 2007; 165, 734741.
66.Sornes, T. Umbilical cord knots. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000; 79, 157159.
67.Chan, JS, Baergen, RN. Gross umbilical cord complications are associated with placental lesions of circulatory stasis and fetal hypoxia. Pediatric Dev Pathol. 2012; 15, 487494.
68.Rees, S, Harding, R, Walker, D. An adverse intrauterine environment: implications for injury and altered development of the brain. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2008; 26, 311.
69.Anastario, M, Salafia, CM, Fitzmaurice, G, Goldstein, JM. Impact of fetal versus perinatal hypoxia on sex differences in childhood outcomes: developmental timing matters. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2012; 47, 455464.
70.Luciano, M, Smith, GA, Wright, MJ, et al. Genetic covariance between processing speed and IQ. In Behaviour Genetics in the Postgenomic Era (eds. Plomin R, DeFries JC, McGuffin P, Craig I), 2003; pp. 163182. APA Books: Washington, DC.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed