Commentary: Can maternal-paternal comparisons contribute to our understanding of maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and its association with offspring cognitive outcomes?

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge Massachusetts, MA, USA and MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. .
International Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 9.18). 04/2013; 42(2):518-9. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyt041
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal prepregnancy obesity is associated with impaired cardiometabolic health in offspring. Whether these associations reflect direct intrauterine causal mechanisms remains unclear. In a population-based prospective cohort study among 4871 mothers, fathers, and their children, we examined the associations of both maternal and paternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) with childhood body fat distribution and cardiometabolic outcomes and explored whether any association was explained by pregnancy, birth, and childhood factors. We measured childhood BMI, total body and abdominal fat distribution, blood pressure, and blood levels of lipids, insulin, and C-peptide at the age of 6 years. We observed that higher maternal and paternal prepregnancy BMI were associated with higher childhood BMI, total body and abdominal fat mass measures, systolic blood pressure, and insulin levels and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (P<0.05). Stronger associations were present for maternal than paternal BMI, with statistical support for heterogeneity between these associations. The associations for childhood fat mass and cardiometabolic outcomes attenuated after adjustment for childhood current BMI. Compared with children from normal-weight mothers, those from obese mothers had increased risks of childhood overweight (odds ratio, 3.84 [95% confidence interval, 3.01-4.90]) and clustering of cardiometabolic risk factors (odds ratio, 3.00 [95% confidence interval, 2.09-4.34]). Smaller effect estimates for these outcomes were observed for paternal obesity. In conclusion, higher maternal and paternal prepregnancy BMI were associated with an adverse cardiometabolic profile in offspring, with stronger associations present for maternal prepregnancy BMI. These findings suggest that maternal prepregnancy BMI may influence the cardiometabolic health of offspring through direct intrauterine mechanisms.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Hypertension
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    ABSTRACT: An association between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and childhood intelligence quotient (IQ) has repeatedly been found but it is unknown if this association is causal or due to confounding caused by genetic or social factors. We used a cohort of 1,783 mothers and their 5-year-old children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. The children participated between 2003 and 2008 in a neuropsychological assessment of cognitive ability including IQ tests taken by both the mother and the child. Linear regression analyses were used to estimate the associations between parental BMI and child IQ adjusted for a comprehensive set of potential confounders. Child IQ was assessed with the Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scales of Intelligence - Revised (WPPSI-R). The crude association between maternal BMI and child IQ showed that BMI was adversely associated with child IQ with a reduction in IQ of -0.40 point for each one unit increase in BMI. This association was attenuated after adjustment for social factors and maternal IQ to a value of -0.27 (-0.50 to -0.03). After mutual adjustment for the father's BMI and all other factors except maternal IQ, the association between paternal BMI and child IQ yielded a regression coefficient of -0.26 (-0.59 to 0.07), which was comparable to that seen for maternal BMI (-0.20 (-0.44 to 0.04)). Although maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was inversely associated with the IQ of her child, the similar association with paternal BMI suggests that it is not a specific pregnancy related adiposity effect.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: We evaluated the associations of both maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy with the risk of type 2 diabetes in daughters and explored whether any association was explained by weight at birth or BMI throughout life. Research design and methods: We used data from 34,453 participants of the Nurses' Health Study II. We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the associations of maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy with incidence of type 2 diabetes in daughters between 1989 and 2009. Results: Maternal smoking during the first trimester only was associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in the offspring, independent of confounders, birth weight, and later-life BMI (fully adjusted hazard ratio 1.34 [95% CI 1.01, 1.76]). In the age-adjusted models, both continued maternal smoking during pregnancy and paternal smoking tended to be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in daughters. Perinatal and adult life variables did not explain these associations, but additional adjustment for current BMI fully attenuated the effect estimates. Conclusions: The associations of maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy with the risk of type 2 diabetes in daughters were largely explained by BMI throughout the life course. Further studies are needed to explore the role of first-trimester-only maternal smoking on insulin resistance in the offspring. Also, similar effect estimates for maternal and paternal smoking suggest that the associations reflect shared family-based or lifestyle-related factors.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Diabetes Care
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