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Obstetrician-Assessed Maternal Health at Pregnancy Predicts Offspring Future Health

Lawlor, DA; Morton, S; Batty, GD; Macintyre, S; Clark, H; Smith, GD; (2007) Obstetrician-Assessed Maternal Health at Pregnancy Predicts Offspring Future Health. PLOS ONE , 2 (8) , Article e666. 10.1371/journal.pone.0000666. Green open access

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Abstract

Background. We aimed to examine the association between obstetrician assessment of maternal physical health at the time of pregnancy and offspring cardiovascular disease risk. Methods and Principal Findings. We examined this association in a birth cohort of 11,106 individuals, with 245,000 person years of follow-up. We were concerned that any associations might be explained by residual confounding, particularly by family socioeconomic position. In order to explore this we used multivariable regression models in which we adjusted for a range of indicators of socioeconomic position and we explored the specificity of the association. Specificity of association was explored by examining associations with other health related outcomes. Maternal physical health was associated with cardiovascular disease: adjusted (socioeconomic position, complications of pregnancy, birthweight and childhood growth at mean age 5) hazard ratio comparing those described as having poor or very poor health at the time of pregnancy to those with good or very good health was 1.55 (95% CI: 1.05, 2.28) for coronary heart disease, 1.91 (95% CI: 0.99, 3.67) for stroke and 1.57 (95% CI: 1.13, 2.18) for either coronary heart disease or stroke. However, this association was not specific. There were strong associations for other outcomes that are known to be related to socioeconomic position (3.61 (95% CI: 1.04, 12.55) for lung cancer and 1.28 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.58) for unintentional injury), but not for breast cancer (1.10 (95% CI: 0.48, 2.53)). Conclusions and Significance. These findings demonstrate that a simple assessment of physical health (based on the appearance of eyes, skin, hair and teeth) of mothers at the time of pregnancy is a strong indicator of the future health risk of their offspring for common conditions that are associated with poor socioeconomic position and unhealthy behaviours. They do not support a specific biological link between maternal health across her life course and future risk of cardiovascular disease in her offspring.

Type: Article
Title: Obstetrician-Assessed Maternal Health at Pregnancy Predicts Offspring Future Health
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000666
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000666
Language: English
Additional information: © 2007 Lawlor et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/351483
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