Prenatal exposure to maternal very severe obesity is associated with impaired neurodevelopment and executive functioning in children

Theresia H Mina, Marius Lahti, Amanda J Drake, Fiona C Denison, Katri Räikkönen, Jane E Norman, Rebecca M Reynolds

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

Abstract

BackgroundPrenatal maternal obesity has been associated with an increased risk of neurocognitive problems in childhood, but there are fewer studies on executive functioning.MethodsTests and questionnaires to assess neurodevelopment, executive functioning, and the ability to delay gratification were conducted in 113 children (mean (SD)=4.24 (0.63) years of age) born to mothers with very severe obesity (SO, body mass index (BMI)⩾40 kg/m2, n=51) or to lean mothers (BMI⩽25 kg/m2, n=62).ResultsPrenatal maternal SO predicted poorer neurodevelopment (unstandardized regression coefficient (B)=-0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) (-0.82; -0.02)), worse problem-solving (odd ratio (OR)=0.60, 95% CI (1.13; 0.07)), and fine motor skills (OR=4.91, 95% CI (1.27; 19.04)), poorer executive functioning in areas of attention, inhibitory control, and working memory (standardized B=3.75, 95% CI (1.01; 13.93)) but not in self-gratification delay. The effects were independent of maternal concurrent psychological well-being and child's BMI, but not independent of maternal education.ConclusionFuture studies should investigate whether perinatal management of maternal obesity could prevent adverse outcomes in child neurodevelopment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Research
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Behavior
  • Birth Weight
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Motor Skills
  • Obesity, Morbid/complications
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Problem Solving
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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