The joint associations of maternal BMI and glycemia with childhood adiposity

Jami L. Josefson, Patrick M. Catalano, William L. Lowe, Denise M. Scholtens, Alan Kuang, Alan R. Dyer, Lynn P. Lowe, Boyd E. Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Context: An obesogenic perinatal environment contributes to adverse offspring metabolic health. Previous studies have been limited by lack of direct adiposity measurements and failure to account for potential confounders. Objective: Examine the joint associations of maternal midpregnancy body mass index (BMI) and glycemia with direct adiposity measures in 10-14 year old offspring. Design and Setting: International, epidemiological study: Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) and HAPO Follow-up Study, conducted between 2000-2006 and 2013-2016, respectively. Participants and Main Outcome Measures: In 4832 children, adiposity measures for body mass index (BMI), body fat with air displacement plethysmography, skinfold thickness, and waist circumference were obtained at mean age 11.4 years. Results: Maternal BMI and glucose, as continuous and categorical variables, were the primary predictors. In fully adjusted models controlling for child age, sex, field center, and maternal characteristics, maternal BMI had significant, positive associations with all childhood adiposity outcomes, while maternal glycemia had significant, positive associations with childhood adiposity outcomes except BMI. In joint analyses, and compared with a nonobese, nongestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) reference group, maternal obesity and GDM were associated with higher odds (maternal obesity odds ratio; OR [95% confidence interval; CI], GDM OR [95% CI]; combined OR [95% CI]) of childhood overweight/obese BMI (3.00 [2.42-3.74], 1.39 [1.14-1.71], 3.55 [2.49-5.05]), obese BMI (3.54 [2.70-4.64], 1.73 [1.29-2.30], 6.10 [4.14-8.99]), percent body fat >85th percentile (2.15 [1.68- 2.75], 1.33 [1.03-1.72], 3.88 [2.72-5.55]), sum of skinfolds >85th percentile (2.35 [1.83-3.00], 1.75 [1.37-2.24], 3.66 [2.55-5.27]), and waist circumference >85th percentile (2.52 [1.99- 3.21], 1.39 [1.07-1.80], 4.18 [2.93-5.96]). Conclusions: Midpregnancy maternal BMI and glycemia are independently and additively associated with direct adiposity measures in 10-14 year old children. The combination of maternal obesity and GDM is associated with the highest odds of childhood adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2177-2188
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Adiposity
  • Childhood obesity
  • Maternal BMI
  • Maternal hyperglycemia
  • Offspring bodyfat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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