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Type: Journal article
Title: Associations of maternal weight gain in pregnancy with offspring cognition in childhood and adolescence: findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
Author: Gage, S.
Lawlor, D.
Tilling, K.
Fraser, A.
Citation: American Journal of Epidemiology, 2013; 177(5):402-410
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0002-9262
Statement of
Suzanne H. Gage, Debbie A. Lawlor, Kate Tilling, and Abigail Fraser
Abstract: An association of gestational weight gain (GWG) with offspring cognition has been postulated. We used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a United Kingdom prospective cohort (1990 through the present) with a median of 10 maternal weight measurements in pregnancy. These were used to allocate participants to 2009 Institute of Medicine weight-gain categories and in random effect linear spline models. Outcomes were School Entry Assessment score (age, 4 years; n = 5,832), standardized intelligence quotient assessed by Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (age, 8 years; n = 5,191), and school final-examination results (age, 16 years; n = 7,339). Offspring of women who gained less weight than recommended had a 0.075 standard deviation lower mean School Entry Assessment score (95% confidence interval: -0.127, -0.023) and were less likely to achieve adequate final-examination results (odds ratio = 0.88, 95% confidence interval: 0.78, 0.99) compared with offspring of women who gained as recommended. GWG in early pregnancy (defined as 0-18 weeks on the basis of a knot point at 18 weeks) and midpregnancy (defined as 18-28 weeks on the basis of knot points at 18 and 28 weeks) was positively associated with School Entry Assessment score and intelligence quotient. GWG in late pregnancy (defined as 28 weeks onward on the basis of a knot point at 28 weeks) was positively associated with offspring intelligence quotient and with increased odds of offspring achieving adequate final-examination results in mothers who were overweight prepregnancy. Findings support small positive associations between GWG and offspring cognitive development, which may have lasting effects on educational attainment up to age 16 years.
Keywords: ALSPAC; cognition; gestational weight gain
Rights: © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
RMID: 0030042813
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kws239
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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