Skip to main content

Relation of maternal hypertension with infant growth in a prospective birth cohort: the ABCD study

  • M. de Beer (a1) (a2), T. G. M. Vrijkotte (a3), M. F. van der Wal (a2), M. M. van Weissenbruch (a1) and R. J. B. J. Gemke (a1)...

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.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: M. de Beer, Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Centre, De Boelelaan 1109, Postbus 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Email
Hide All
1. BarkerDJ. Fetal origins of coronary heart disease. BMJ. 1995; 311, 171174.
2. GluckmanPD, HansonMA, CooperC, ThornburgKL. Effect of in utero and early-life conditions on adult health and disease. N Engl J Med. 2008; 359, 6173.
3. HuxleyRR, ShiellAW, LawCM. The role of size at birth and postnatal catch-up growth in determining systolic blood pressure: a systematic review of the literature. J Hypertens. 2000; 18, 815831.
4. MiJ, LawC, ZhangKL, et al. Effects of infant birthweight and maternal body mass index in pregnancy on components of the insulin resistance syndrome in China. Ann Intern Med. 2000; 132, 253260.
5. ErikssonJG, ForsenT, TuomilehtoJ, OsmondC, BarkerD. Fetal and childhood growth and hypertension in adult life. Hypertension. 2000; 36, 790794.
6. ErikssonJG, ForsenT, TuomilehtoJ, OsmondC, BarkerDJ. Early growth and coronary heart disease in later life: longitudinal study. BMJ. 2001; 322, 949953.
7. ErikssonJG, ForsenT, TuomilehtoJ, et al. Effects of size at birth and childhood growth on the insulin resistance syndrome in elderly individuals. Diabetologia. 2002; 45, 342348.
8. OngKK, DungerDB. Birth weight, infant growth and insulin resistance. Eur J Endocrinol. 2004; 151(Suppl. 3), U131U139.
9. ForsenT, ErikssonJ, TuomilehtoJ, et al. The fetal and childhood growth of persons who develop type 2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2000; 133, 176182.
10. OngKK, PetryCJ, EmmettPM, et al. Insulin sensitivity and secretion in normal children related to size at birth, postnatal growth, and plasma insulin-like growth factor-I levels. Diabetologia. 2004; 47, 10641070.
11. LeonDA, JohanssonM, RasmussenF. Gestational age and growth rate of fetal mass are inversely associated with systolic blood pressure in young adults: an epidemiologic study of 165,136 Swedish men aged 18 years. Am J Epidemiol. 2000; 152, 597604.
12. OngKK, PreeceMA, EmmettPM, AhmedML, DungerDB. Size at birth and early childhood growth in relation to maternal smoking, parity and infant breast-feeding: longitudinal birth cohort study and analysis. Pediatr Res. 2002; 52, 863867.
13. ErikssonJG, ForsenT, TuomilehtoJ, et al. Catch-up growth in childhood and death from coronary heart disease: longitudinal study. BMJ. 1999; 318, 427431.
14. OngKK, AhmedML, EmmettPM, PreeceMA, DungerDB. Association between postnatal catch-up growth and obesity in childhood: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2000; 320, 967971.
15. FuruyaM, IshidaJ, AokiI, FukamizuA. Pathophysiology of placentation abnormalities in pregnancy-induced hypertension. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008; 4, 13011313.
16. RasmussenS, IrgensLM. History of fetal growth restriction is more strongly associated with severe rather than milder pregnancy-induced hypertension. Hypertension. 2008; 51, 12311238.
17. RasmussenS, IrgensLM. Fetal growth and body proportion in preeclampsia. Obstet Gynecol. 2003; 101, 575583.
18. RasmussenS, IrgensLM, AlbrechtsenS, DalakerK. Predicting preeclampsia in the second pregnancy from low birth weight in the first pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2000; 96, 696700.
19. XiongX, MayesD, DemianczukN, et al. Impact of pregnancy-induced hypertension on fetal growth. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999; 180, 207213.
20. OdegardRA, VattenLJ, NilsenST, SalvesenKA, AustgulenR. Preeclampsia and fetal growth. Obstet Gynecol. 2000; 96, 950955.
21. BuchbinderA, SibaiBM, CaritisS, et al. Adverse perinatal outcomes are significantly higher in severe gestational hypertension than in mild preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002; 186, 6671.
22. van EijsdenM, HornstraG, van der WalMF, VrijkotteTG, BonselGJ. Maternal n-3, n-6, and trans fatty acid profile early in pregnancy and term birth weight: a prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87, 887895.
23. GoedhartG, van EijsdenM, van der WalMF, BonselGJ. Ethnic differences in term birthweight: the role of constitutional and environmental factors. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2008; 22, 360368.
24. de BeerM, van EijsdenM, VrijkotteTG, GemkeRJ. Early growth patterns and cardiometabolic function at the age of 5 in a multiethnic birth cohort: the ABCD study. BMC Pediatr. 2009; 9, 23.
25. MesmanI, RoseboomTJ, BonselGJ, et al. Maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index explains infant’s weight and BMI at 14 months: results from a multi-ethnic birth cohort study. Arch Dis Child. 2009.
26. TrompM, RavelliAC, MerayN, ReitsmaJB, BonselGJ. An efficient validation method of probabilistic record linkage including readmissions and twins. Methods Inf Med. 2008; 47, 356363.
27. FredriksAM, van BuurenS, BurgmeijerRJ, et al. Continuing positive secular growth change in The Netherlands 1955-1997. Pediatr Res. 2000; 47, 316323.
28. OngKK, LoosRJ. Rapid infancy weight gain and subsequent obesity: systematic reviews and hopeful suggestions. Acta Paediatr. 2006; 95, 904908.
29. TeoKK, OunpuuS, HawkenS, et al. Tobacco use and risk of myocardial infarction in 52 countries in the INTERHEART study: a case-control study. Lancet. 2006; 368, 647658.
30. O’KeefeJH, BybeeKA, LavieCJ. Alcohol and cardiovascular health: the razor-sharp double-edged sword. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007; 50, 10091014.
31. KlonerRA, RezkallaSH. To drink or not to drink? That is the question. Circulation. 2007; 116, 13061317.
32. MooreKL. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edn, 2003. Etobicoke: Saunders Book Company.
33. DuckittK, HarringtonD. Risk factors for pre-eclampsia at antenatal booking: systematic review of controlled studies. BMJ. 2005; 330, 565.
34. YoderSR, ThornburgLL, BisognanoJD. Hypertension in pregnancy and women of childbearing age. Am J Med. 2009; 122, 890895.
35. OkuraY, UrbanLH, MahoneyDW, JacobsenSJ, RodehefferRJ. Agreement between self-report questionnaires and medical record data was substantial for diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke but not for heart failure. J Clin Epidemiol. 2004; 57, 10961103.
36. MolenaarEA, Van AmeijdenEJ, GrobbeeDE, NumansME. Comparison of routine care self-reported and biometrical data on hypertension and diabetes: results of the Utrecht Health Project. Eur J Public Health. 2007; 17, 199205.
37. RasmussenS, IrgensLM. The effects of smoking and hypertensive disorders on fetal growth. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2006; 6, 16.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • ISSN: 2040-1744
  • EISSN: 2040-1752
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-developmental-origins-of-health-and-disease
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 65 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.