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Pediatr Res. 2019 May;85(6):799-806. doi: 10.1038/s41390-018-0229-z. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Maternal obesity and offspring cognition: the role of inflammation.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. cmonthe-dreze@partners.org.
2
Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High pre-pregnancy body mass index (ppBMI) has been linked to neurodevelopmental impairments in childhood. However, very few studies have investigated mechanisms in human cohorts.

METHODS:

Among 1361 mother-child pairs in Project Viva, we examined associations of ppBMI categories with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III [PPVT] and Wide Range Assessment of Visual Motor Abilities [WRAVMA] in early childhood (median 3.2y); and with the Kaufman Brief Intelligence test (KBIT) and WRAVMA in mid-childhood (7.7y). We further examined the role of maternal inflammation in these associations using the following measures from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy: plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), dietary inflammatory index (DII), and plasma omega-6 (n-6): n-3 fatty acid ratio.

RESULTS:

Children of mothers with prenatal obesity (ppBMI ≥30 kg/m2) had WRAVMA scores that were 2.1 points lower (95% CI: -3.9, -0.2) in early childhood than children of normal weight mothers (ppBMI 18.5-<25 kg/m2), in a covariate adjusted model. This association was attenuated when we additionally adjusted for maternal CRP (β -1.8 points; 95% CI: -3.8, 0.2) but not for other inflammatory markers. PpBMI was not associated with other cognitive outcomes.

CONCLUSION:

Maternal inflammation may modestly mediate the association between maternal obesity and offspring visual motor abilities.

PMID:
30420706
PMCID:
PMC6494697
[Available on 2020-05-01]
DOI:
10.1038/s41390-018-0229-z

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