Pregnancy and early life factors may permanently affect left ventricular growth and development in the offspring. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of maternal anthropometrics during pregnancy with left ventricular mass (LVM) in infancy. This study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study from fetal life onwards. Maternal anthropometrics were obtained in early (gestational age <18 wk), mid- (gestational age 18-25 wk), and late (gestational age >25 wk) pregnancy. Echocardiographic follow-up measurements were performed in 791 infants aged 6 wk and 6 mo. We found no associations of maternal height, weight, or body mass index (BMI) measured in early, mid-, and late pregnancy with longitudinally measured left ventricular mass (LVM) from 6 wk to 6 mo. Maternal weight gain until late pregnancy was associated with an increased growth of LVM from 6 wk to 6 mo [difference 0.46 g per week for the highest tertile of weight gain compared with the lowest tertile (p value <0.05)]. We concluded that maternal weight gain until late pregnancy is associated with larger LVM at the age of 6 mo, suggesting that maternal health status during pregnancy may have permanent consequences for LVM in their children. Further studies are needed to identify the underlying causal mechanisms and the long-term consequences.

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Geelhoed, J.J.M., van Osch-Gevers, L., Verburg, B.O., Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M., Hofman, A., Helbing, W.A., … Jaddoe, V.W.V-K.. (2008). Maternal anthropometrics in pregnancy are associated with left ventricular mass in infancy. The generation R study. Pediatric Research: international journal of human developmental biology, 63(1), 62–66. doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e31815b4449