Correlation of umbilical cord blood haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell levels with birth weight: implications for a prenatal influence on cancer risk

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Cancer Biology; Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Antigens, CD38; *Birth Weight; *Blood Cell Count; Female; Fetal Blood; Hematopoietic Stem Cells; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Male; Neoplasms; Risk


Cancer Biology | Hematology | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Oncology


We examined the relation with birth weight and umbilical cord blood concentrations of haematopoietic stem and progenitor populations in 288 singleton infants. Across the whole range of birth weight, there was a positive relation between birth weight and CD34+CD38(-) cells, with each 500 g increase in birth weight being associated with a 15.5% higher (95% confidence interval: 1.6-31.3%) cell concentration. CD34+ and CD34+c-kit+ cells had J-shaped relations and CFU-GM cells had a U-shaped relation with birth weight. Among newborns with >or=3000 g birth weights, concentrations of these cells increased with birth weight, while those below 3000 g had higher stem cell concentrations than the reference category of 3000-3499 g. Adjustment for cord blood plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 levels weakened the stem and progenitor cell-birth weight associations. The positive associations between birth weight and stem cell measurements for term newborns with a normal-to-high birth weight support the stem cell burden hypothesis of cancer risk.

DOI of Published Version



Br J Cancer. 2008 Feb 12;98(3):660-3. Epub 2008 Feb 5. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

British journal of cancer

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID