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Moms' Weight Before, During Pregnancy Tied to Kids' Issues

Higher gestational weight gain associated with BMI, fat mass, blood pressure, CRP in children

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Higher pre-pregnancy weight and gestational weight gain (GWG) up to 36 weeks are linked to adverse cardiovascular risk factors and adiposity in offspring, according to research published online June 1 in Circulation.

Abigail Fraser, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,154 mother-offspring pairs in a pregnancy cohort study, including blood assays from 3,457.

The researchers found that women who exceeded the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) 2009 recommendations for GWG had a greater chance of having children with higher body mass index, fat mass, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, leptin, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels, along with lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1 levels. GWG before 14 weeks or a gain of more than 500 grams weekly from 14 to 36 weeks was linked to higher adiposity in offspring. Higher pre-pregnancy weight was associated with higher adiposity in children and more adverse cardiovascular risk factors at 9 years of age.

"Maternal pre-pregnancy weight was more consistently associated with offspring adiposity and a wider range of cardiovascular risk factors in offspring than were any measurements of GWG, and this finding supports initiatives aimed at maintaining healthy weight in women of reproductive age," the authors conclude. "The extent to which antenatal care guidelines should be modified to monitor GWG and promote adherence to IOM levels requires additional research that establishes clear benefits and lack of important risk in the short and long term for both mother and child."

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