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Maternal obesity and gestational diabetes mellitus affect body composition through infancy: the PONCH study

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Andersson Hall
Evelina Järvinen
Marja Bosaeus
Carolina Gustavsson
Ellen Hårsmar
Aimon Niklasson
Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland
Agneta Holmäng
Published in Pediatric Research
Volume 85
Issue 3
Pages 369-377
ISSN 0031-3998
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 369-377
Language en
Keywords fat mass, visceral fat, weight-gain, pregnancy, birth, adiposity, risk, determinants, associations, overweight, Pediatrics
Subject categories Endocrinology and Diabetes


BACKGROUND: To determine how maternal obesity or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affect infant body size and body composition during the first year of life. METHODS: Eighty three normal-weight (NW) women, 26 obese (OB) women, and 26 women with GDM were recruited during pregnancy. Infant body composition was determined by air-displacement plethysmography at 1 and 12 weeks, and anthropometric measurements made until 1 year of age. RESULTS: Girl infants born to OB women and women with GDM had a higher body-fat percentage (BF%) at 1 and 12 weeks of age than girls born to NW women. Girls had higher BF% than boys in OB and GDM groups only. Maternal HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose correlated with girl infant BF% at 1 week of age. Maternal weight at start of pregnancy correlated with birthweight in NW and OB groups, but not the GDM group. OB group infants showed greater BMI increases from 1 week to 1 year than both NW and GDM group infants. CONCLUSION: Results show that both maternal glycaemia and obesity are determinants of increased early life adiposity, especially in girls, with glycaemic levels being more influential than maternal weight for infants born to women with GDM.

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