Adiposity and chronic inflammation in young women predict inflammation during normal pregnancy in the Philippines

Thomas W. McDade*, Judith B. Borja, Fe Largado, Linda S. Adair, Christopher W. Kuzawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Rates of overweight and obesity are on the rise globally, and excess adipose tissue may contribute to elevations in inflammation during pregnancy, leading to pregnancy complications and adverse birth outcomes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate adiposity and inflammation in young women as predictors of inflammation in the third trimester of pregnancy in a community-based sample of healthy women. Methods: Female participants (24-30 y) in a prospective observational cohort study (Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey) were contacted between 2009 and 2014 to identify new pregnancies. A total of 309 women provided data from 409 pregnancies. An in-home interview was scheduled for the third trimester to collect pregnancy information, anthropometric measurements, and a blood sample. Circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) was measured with a highsensitivity immunoassay. Data collected from assessments in 2005 and 2009 were used to assess body mass index (BMI) and CRP in young adulthood, before pregnancy. Robust regression models were implemented to evaluate BMI and CRP in young adulthood as predictors of pregnancy CRP. Results: Pre-pregnancy BMI was a stronger predictor of third-trimester circulating CRP than BMI in the third trimester. No association was found between pregnancy weight gain and CRP. Pre-pregnancy CRP was a significant predictor of CRP in pregnancy, independent of BMI. Conclusions: Levels of overweight/obesity and inflammation in young adulthood, before pregnancy, are important predictors of inflammation in the third trimester of pregnancy. These results may have implications for addressing the growing concern about the contribution of obesity to adverse birth outcomes, and they suggest that factors that influence the regulation of inflammation, before pregnancy and independent of adiposity, may be important in shaping the inflammatory response to pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • C-reactive protein
  • Cohort studies
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Philippines
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Adiposity and chronic inflammation in young women predict inflammation during normal pregnancy in the Philippines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this