B3810 - Birth order and cord blood DNA methylation - 21/06/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Giulia Mancano | IEU, University of Bristol
Dr Gemma Sharp, Sebastian (Shaobo) Li
Title of project: 
Birth order and cord blood DNA methylation
Proposal summary: 

Birth order has strong correlations with developmental and environmental aspects. Birth order is a presumed factor affecting multiple diseases including leukemia (1, 2, 3), atopy (4), type I diabetes (5), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (6) and synovial sarcoma (7). Moreover, first born subjects have unique in utero characteristics including less sufficient placentation, higher estrogen levels, and lower insulin sensitivity. Birth order might therefore play a role in shaping DNA methylation pattern and influence the initiation of the diseases mentioned above.

1. Dockerty JD, Draper G, Vincent T, Rowan SD, Bunch KJ. Case-control study of parental age, parity and socioeconomic level in relation to childhood cancers. Int J Epidemiol. 2001. doi:10.1093/ije/30.6.1428
2. Hjalgrim LL, Rostgaard K, Hjalgrim H, et al. Birth weight and risk for childhood leukemia in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004. doi:10.1093/jnci/djh287
3. Westergaard T, Andersen PK, Pedersen JB, et al. Birth characteristics, sibling patterns, and acute leukemia risk in childhood: A population-based cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1997. doi:10.1093/jnci/89.13.939
4. Upchurch S, Harris JM, Cullinan P. Temporal changes in UK birth order and the prevalence of atopy. Allergy Eur J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02312.x
5. Cardwell CR, Stene LC, Joner G, et al. Birth order and childhood type 1 diabetes risk: A pooled analysis of 31 observational studies. Int J Epidemiol. 2011. doi:10.1093/ije/dyq207
6. Grulich AE, Vajdic CM, Kaldor JM, et al. Birth order, atopy, and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005. doi:10.1093/jnci/dji098
7. Wiemels JL, Wang R, Feng Q, et al. Birth characteristics and risk of early-onset synovial sarcoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. April 2020:cebp.0093.2020. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0093

Impact of research: 
Build evidence to elucidate the effect of birth order on neonatal DNA methylation and investigate its possible implication on system development and disease risk.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 15 June, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 21 June, 2021
Epigenetic Epidemiology, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., EWAS, Birth outcomes, Development, Epigenetics, Offspring