Parent-Offspring Body Mass Index Associations in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study: A Family-based Approach to Studying the Role of the Intrauterine Environment in Childhood Adiposity

Caroline Fleten*, Wenche Nystad, Hein Stigum, Rolv Skjaerven, Debbie A. Lawlor, George Davey Smith, Oyvind Naess

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study, the authors investigated the role of the intrauterine environment in childhood adiposity by comparing the maternal-offspring body mass index (BMI) association with the paternal-offspring BMI association when the offspring were 3 years of age, using parental prepregnancy BMI (measured as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). The parent-offspring trios (n 29,216) were recruited during pregnancy from 2001 to 2008 into the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study conducted by The Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Data from self-administered questionnaires were used in linear regression analyses. Crude analyses showed similar parental-offspring BMI associations; the mean difference in offspring BMI was 0.15 (95 confidence interval: 0.13, 0.16) per each 1-standard-deviation increase in maternal BMI and 0.15 (95 confidence interval: 0.13, 0.17) per each 1-standard-deviation increase in paternal BMI. After all adjustments, the mean difference in offspring BMI per each 1-standard-deviation increment of maternal BMI was 0.12, and the mean difference in offspring BMI per each 1-standard-deviation increment of paternal BMI was 0.13. There was no strong support for heterogeneity between the associations (P 0.6). In conclusion, results from the present large population-based study showed similar parental-offspring BMI associations when the offspring were 3 years of age, which indicates that the maternal-offspring association may be explained by shared familial (environmental and genetic) risk factors rather than by the intrauterine environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume176
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2012

Keywords

  • adiposity
  • body mass index
  • child
  • preschool
  • fathers
  • infant
  • mothers
  • overweight
  • pregnancy
  • FETAL OVERNUTRITION HYPOTHESIS
  • INTERNATIONAL SURVEY
  • OBESITY
  • OVERWEIGHT
  • BIRTH
  • PREGNANCY
  • WEIGHT
  • HEIGHT
  • POPULATION
  • OUTCOMES

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