The aim of this study was to investigate the assumed positive association of pre-existent and pregnancy-induced hypertension with the offspring’s weight and length gain in the first 14 months of life. We studied 3994 pregnant women and their offspring in a prospective community-based cohort study, starting between 2003 and 2004 (Amsterdam Born Children and their Development, ABCD study). Questionnaires obtaining information about hypertension during pregnancy were completed, and this was complemented with additional information from the obstetric caregiver. Anthropometry of the offspring was followed during the first 14 months of life. Main outcome measures were presence or absence of growth acceleration in weight or length (normal: ΔSDS ⩽ 0.67 v. growth acceleration: ΔSDS > 0.67). The relation between hypertension during pregnancy and weight and length gain was addressed by logistic regression analyses. We found that pre-existent hypertension was related to growth acceleration in weight and length. After correction for birth weight and pregnancy duration, the effect remained significant for growth acceleration in weight (OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.21–2.97; P < 0.01). Pregnancy-induced hypertension showed similar results, although correction for birth weight and pregnancy duration rendered the associations non-significant. In conclusion, infants of women with pre-existent hypertension during pregnancy more frequently have growth acceleration in weight and length, and yet the mechanisms acting on postnatal growth appear to be different.
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