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Background Maternal early pregnancy overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25.0-29.9 kg/m) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m) are associated with mental and physical health adversities in the offspring. Prenatal programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been put forward as one of the mechanisms that may play pathophysiological role. However, evidence linking maternal overweight and obesity with offspring HPA-axis activity is scarce. We studied if maternal early pregnancy BMI is associated with diurnal salivary cortisol, a marker of HPA-axis activity, in young adult offspring. Methods At a mean age of 25.3 (standard deviation [SD) = 0.6) years, 653 Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study participants collected saliva samples for cortisol analyses, at awakening, 15 and 30 min thereafter, 10:30AM, 12:00PM, 5:30PM and at bedtime. Maternal BMI was calculated from weight and height verified by a measurement in the first antenatal clinic visit before 12 weeks of gestation derived from healthcare records. Results Per each one kg/m higher maternal early pregnancy BMI offspring diurnal average salivary cortisol was -1.4% (95%
-2.6, -0.2, p = 0.033) lower, at awakening it was -2.4% (95%
-4.0, -0.7, p = 0.025) lower and the morning average salivary cortisol was -2.0% (95%
-3.4, -0.5, p=0.017) lower. These associations were independent of the offspring's own young adulthood BMI, and other important covariates. Conclusion Our findings show that young adult offspring born to mothers with higher early pregnancy BMI show lower average levels of diurnal cortisol, especially in the morning. Whether these findings reflect prenatal programming of the offspring HPA-axis activity warrants further investigation.
This article was published in the following journal.
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Pregnancy in which the mother and/or FETUS are at greater than normal risk of MORBIDITY or MORTALITY. Causes include inadequate PRENATAL CARE, previous obstetrical history (ABORTION, SPONTANEOUS), pre-existing maternal disease, pregnancy-induced disease (GESTATIONAL HYPERTENSION), and MULTIPLE PREGNANCY, as well as advanced maternal age above 35.
A state of insufficient flesh on the body usually defined as having a body weight less than skeletal and physical standards. Depending on age, sex, and genetic background, a BODY MASS INDEX of less than 18.5 is considered as underweight.
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An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of BODY WEIGHT to BODY HEIGHT. BMI=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). BMI correlates with body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, BMI falls into these categories: below 18.5 (underweight); 18.5-24.9 (normal); 25.0-29.9 (overweight); 30.0 and above (obese). (National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
A status with BODY WEIGHT that is above certain standard of acceptable or desirable weight. In the scale of BODY MASS INDEX, overweight is defined as having a BMI of 25.0-29.9 kg/m2. Overweight may or may not be due to increases in body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE), hence overweight does not equal "over fat".
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