Maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and offspring hyperactivity- inattention symptoms at 5 years in preterm and term children: a multi-cohort analysis


he objective of this study was to determine the relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and child hyperactivity-inattention symptoms (HIS) at 5 years, including preterm and term-born children, and to determine whether this association varied with gestational age. Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and offspring HIS were assessed in 10,898 participants born ≥ 33 weeks of gestation from the ELFE cohort and 2646 children born between 23 and 34 weeks from the EPIPAGE 2 cohort. Reported pre-pregnancy weight (kg) and measured height (m) were collected from mothers at inclusion and used to classify BMI (kg/m2). Child HIS were evaluated using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire around 5 years of age. Logistic regression estimated odds ratios (OR) of a high HIS score (≥ 90th percentile) in the ELFE cohort and generalized estimated equations were used in EPIPAGE 2 to account for non-independence of multiple births. As a negative control, paternal BMI was also considered as an exposure of interest in sensitivity analyses. Maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and overweight were associated with child HIS at 5 years in ELFE (adjusted OR [aOR] for obesity 1.27 [1.06, 1.53]; overweight aOR 1.16 [1.00, 1.36]) and pre-pregnancy obesity was associated with high HIS scores in preterm infants of EPIPAGE 2 (aOR 1.48 [1.06, 2.08]). In ELFE, the magnitude of the association increased with decreasing gestational age (interaction p = 0.02). High maternal pre-pregnancy BMI is associated with greater likelihood of high HIS scores in both at-term and preterm children at 5 years of age.