Associations of Maternal Pre-Pregnancy Body Mass Index and Gestational Weight Gain with Adult Offspring Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factors: The Jerusalem Perinatal Family Follow-up Study
Background—Accumulating evidence demonstrates that both maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (mppBMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) are associated with adult offspring adiposity. However, whether these maternal attributes are related to other cardio-metabolic risk factors in adulthood has not been comprehensively studied.
Methods and Results—We used a birth cohort of 1400 young adults born in Jerusalem, with extensive archival data as well as clinical information at age 32, to prospectively examine the associations of mppBMI and GWG with adiposity and related cardio-metabolic outcomes. Greater mppBMI, independent of GWG and confounders, was significantly associated with higher offspring BMI, waist circumference (WC), systolic and diastolic BP, insulin and triglycerides and with lower HDL-C. For example, the effect sizes were translated to nearly 5kg/m2 higher mean BMI, 8.4cm higher WC, 0.13mmol/L (11.4mg/dL) higher triglycerides and 0.10mmol/L (3.8mg/dL) lower HDL-C among offspring of mothers within the upper mppBMI quartile (BMI>26.4kg/m2) compared to the lower (BMI<21.0kg/m2). GWG, independent of mppBMI, was positively associated with offspring adiposity; differences of 1.6kg/m2 in BMI and 2.4cm in waist were observed when offspring of mothers in the upper (GWG>14kg) and lower (GWG<9kg) quartiles of GWG were compared. Further adjustment for offspring adiposity attenuated to null the observed associations.
Conclusions—Maternal size both before and during pregnancy are associated with cardio-metabolic risk factors in young adult offspring. The associations appear to be driven mainly by offspring adiposity. Future studies that explore mechanisms underlying the intergenerational cycle of obesity are warranted to identify potentially novel targets for cardio-metabolic risk-reduction interventions.
- Received September 25, 2011.
- Accepted January 9, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited