Article Text

Maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index explains infant’s weight and BMI at 14 months: results from a multi-ethnic birth cohort study
  1. I Mesman1,
  2. T J Roseboom2,
  3. G J Bonsel1,
  4. R J Gemke3,
  5. M F van der Wal4,
  6. T G M Vrijkotte1
  1. 1
    Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3
    Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4
    Municipal Health Service Amsterdam, Department of Epidemiology, Documentation and Health Promotion, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. I Mesman, Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam, Post Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands; ilsemesman{at}


Objective: To investigate the association between (self-reported) maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (pBMI), and child’s weight, height and BMI at age 14 months.

Design: Prospective multi-ethnic community-based cohort study.

Setting: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Participants: 8266 pregnant women from the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study, filled out a questionnaire covering socio-demographic data, obstetric history, lifestyle, dietary habits and psychosocial factors, 2 weeks after their first antenatal visit. 7730 gave birth to a viable term singleton infant with information on birth weight, gender and pregnancy duration. Growth data were available for 3171 of these children.

Main outcome measures: Weight (g), height (cm) and BMI (kg/m2) of the child at age 14 months.

Results: pBMI was linearly associated with weight and BMI of the child at age 14 months. One unit increase in pBMI resulted in an increment of 29 g (95% CI 19 to 39) in weight and 0.041 kg/m2 (95% CI 0.030 to 0.053) in BMI. The effect size decreased after adjustment for birth weight (weight: β coefficient 19 g, 95% CI 10 to 28; BMI: β coefficient 0.034 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.023 to 0.046) and hardly changed after adjustment for all other variables (weight: β coefficient 21 g, 95% CI 11 to 30; BMI: β coefficient 0.031 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.019 to 0.043). pBMI was not related to height.

Conclusions: pBMI is an independent determinant of weight and BMI of the child at age 14 months. At least one third of this effect is mediated through birth weight.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This study was supported by a research grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), The Hague.

  • Contributors: MFW and GJB designed and initiated the cohort study. MFW and TGMV coordinated the data collection, and IM and TGMV analysed the data. All authors met regularly and contributed to the study management, and all participated in the interpretation of the results and in writing of the paper. TGMV is the guarantor.

    Statement of independence of researchers from funders: All authors declare they are independent from funders.

  • Ethics approval: The study protocol was approved by the medical ethical committees of all Amsterdam hospitals and the Registration Committee of Amsterdam.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

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