Effects of maternal metabolic health on child development using a UK cohort sample

Janell Kwok, Lydia Speyer, Georgia Soursou, Aja Louise Murray, Kostas Fanti, Bonnie Auyeung

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Maternal metabolic processes are important for fetal development. With global rates of obesity and diabetes rapidly increasing, it is essential to examine associations between maternal metabolic health not only on immediate birth outcomes, but also long-term child developmental outcomes. This study uses UK cohort data (n=10,600 mother-child pairs) from the Born in Bradford Study to examine associations between maternal metabolic health and child development outcomes at age 5. Methods: Maternal metabolic markers included diabetes, obesity, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, hypertension, and fasting glucose taken during pregnancy. Child outcomes included five developmental domains from the Early Years Foundation Developmental Framework. These domains included communication and language development; personal, social and emotional development; physical development; literacy; and mathematics. Regression models were used to examine associations between maternal metabolic markers and developmental outcomes. Results: Significant associations were found for maternal metabolic syndrome classification and child literacy outcomes at age 5. Individual metabolic markers of maternal BMI and triglycerides were also significantly associated with developmental outcomes across all five domains, though effect sizes were small. Conclusion: These results suggest that poorer maternal metabolic health is generally associated with specific childhood developmental skills of reading and writing, and that the presence of specific metabolic markers is associated with overall development. This suggests possible developmental susceptibility to inflammatory processes occurring during pregnancy, which may lead to poorer child development outcomes at a young age.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2021
EventISDP 2021 Hybrid: 54th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology -
Duration: 10 Nov 202112 Mar 2022

Conference

ConferenceISDP 2021 Hybrid: 54th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology
Period10/11/2112/03/22

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