Maternal Obesity is a Risk Factor for Wheezing in Infants

According to an article published in the December issue of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, “Maternal prepregnancy obesity has been linked to the offspring’s risk for subsequent asthma. [The authors] determined whether maternal obesity is associated with increased risk of wheezing phenotypes early in life.” From the study: “We used data on 1107 mother–child pairs from two birth cohorts….Maternal height was measured and prepregnancy weight self-reported at enrollment….Maternal prepregnancy body mass index was categorized as underweight, normal, overweight and obese according to WHO recommendations. Information on child’s wheezing was obtained through questionnaires up to the age of 14 (±1) months. Wheezing was classified as infrequent (<4 reported wheezing episodes) or frequent (≥4 episodes). Weight and length of infants were measured by trained study staff at 14.6 (±1) months of age and weight-for-length z-scores computed. Although maternal obesity did not increase the risk of the child to have any or infrequent wheezing, children of obese mothers were more likely to have frequent wheezing than children of normal-weight mothers.”  The authors conclude that “maternal prepregnancy obesity is independently associated with an increased risk of frequent wheezing in the infant by the age of 14 months.” The full article is available online.