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Front Genet. 2018 Nov 2;9:511. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00511. eCollection 2018.

Influence of Fetal and Maternal Genetic Susceptibility to Obesity on Birthweight in African Ancestry Populations.

Author information

1
Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States.
2
Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States.

Abstract

Fetal and maternal genetic propensity to obesity can influence birthweight. We investigated the effects of fetal and maternal genetic risk of obesity on birthweight and evaluated whether these genetic influences modify the well-known association between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and birthweight. In 950 mother-baby pairs of African ancestry, a genetic risk score for adulthood obesity was generated for mothers (mGRS) and their babies (bGRS) as the weighted sum of BMI-increasing alleles of 97 single nucleotide polymorphisms known to be associated with BMI. The median GRS value was used as a cut-off to define high or low bGRS and mGRS. High bGRS was significantly associated with 70 g lower birthweight (95% Confidence Interval [CI] = -127.4 to -12.4) compared to low bGRS. mGRS was positively correlated with birthweight but the association was not significant. mGRS modified the significant birthweight-increasing effect of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (P-for-interaction = 0.03); among mothers with low mGRS, those who were overweight or obese had 127.7 g heavier babies (95% CI = 27.1 to 228.2) compared to those who had normal weight. In summary, fetal obesity genetic risk loci exert direct influence on birthweight, and maternal loci modify the effect of pre-pregnancy BMI on birthweight.

KEYWORDS:

African ancestry; birthweight; genetic risk score; obesity; pregnancy

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