JOURNAL ARTICLE

Associations of prepregnancy cardiovascular risk factors with the offspring's birth weight

Pål R Romundstad, George Davey Smith, Tom I L Nilsen, Lars J Vatten
American Journal of Epidemiology 2007 December 15, 166 (12): 1359-64
17978410
Low birth weight of offspring has been associated with increased risk of maternal cardiovascular mortality, and cardiovascular risk factors measured within pregnancy have been related to offspring birth weight. It is not clear whether cardiovascular risk factors assessed prior to pregnancy are associated with the offspring's birth weight. The authors combined baseline data from 3,461 women in the HUNT Study (1995-1997) and data on deliveries from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway up to 2005. They used linear regression to prospectively study associations between diastolic and systolic blood pressures, concentrations of triglycerides, serum total cholesterol, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol measured before conception and birth weight for gestational age of the offspring. Blood pressure measured before pregnancy was inversely associated with birth weight for gestational age, whereas unfavorable levels of serum total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose were positively associated with birth weight for gestational age. Thus, women with relatively high blood pressure tend to deliver small babies, whereas women with unfavorable lipid levels tend to give birth to large babies, suggesting reduced glucose tolerance. These findings suggest that low as well as high birth weight of the offspring may indicate increased cardiovascular risk for the mother.

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