Maternal overweight but not paternal overweight before pregn
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Telomere length (TL) is variable at birth and is inversely associated with body mass index (BMI) in adulthood. A growing number of evidences suggested that a higher maternal pre-pregnancy BMI results in adverse offspring health outcomes, especially shorter newborn TL. However, a newborn’s genetic endowment is equally derived from both parents, the association between parental pre-pregnancy BMI and newborn TL has been rarely discussed. We aimed to determine the association between parental pre-pregnancy BMI and newborn TL.

A total of 1082 parent-newborn pairs were recruited from the Guangxi Zhuang Birth Cohort (GZBC). TL in cord blood was measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and expressed as the ratio of telomere copy number to single-copy gene number (T/S). A series of linear regressions were performed to assess the associations between parental pre-pregnancy BMI and newborn TL.

Mothers who were overweight before pregnancy had significantly shorter cord blood telomere length in their newborns than those who were normal weight before pregnancy [percentage change: 7.96% (95% CI: 14.49 to 0.69%; P =0.032)]. Further analysis of the combined effects of parental weight status on newborn TL showed that TL was significantly shortened among newborns whose mothers were overweight and fathers were of healthy weight when compared with those whose mothers and fathers were both of normal weight [percentage change: 8.38% (95% CI: 15.47 to 0.92%; P =0.028)]. Subgroup analysis indicated these effects were more pronounced among male newborns and those whose paternal age<31 years or maternal age 28 years at delivery.

Maternal pre-pregnancy overweight, but not paternal pre-pregnancy overweight is associated with shorter newborn TL. Weight control in reproductive women and effective healthy weight management before pregnancy may be of particular benefit for improving longevity and life quality of offspring.

Read more : https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-021-03757-x
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