ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 P-D-1-3-132

Impact of Maternal and Fetal Inflammatory Markers on Neonatal and Infant Adiposity

Jean M Donnellya, Jennifer M Walsha,b, Mary Horana, Eleanor J Molloyc,d & Fionnuala Mc Auliffea


aUniversity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; bNational Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; cRoyal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; dOur Lady’s Childrens Hospital Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland


Background: The effect of maternal obesity and the associated maternal inflammation on neonatal and paediatric health and wellbeing over the early childhood years is not fully understood.

Objective and hypotheses: This study aimed to determine the impact of maternal and fetal inflammatory factors on infant anthropometric measurements.

Method: 265 mother–infant pairs from an RCT assessing the effect of a low glycaemic index diet on birth weight (ROLO study) were analysed. Maternal interleukin 6 and TNF α were measured at booking and 28 weeks and fetal levels assessed in cord blood. Birth weight and anthropometric measurements were recorded at birth and at 6 months. Abdominal circumference and various skinfolds were measured. The sum of subscapular+triceps skinfolds was used as a marker of general adiposity and the ratio of these as a marker of central adiposity.

Results: IL 6 in early pregnancy and fetal samples was found on simple linear regression to influence general adiposity at birth. A correlation was also found between fetal IL6 and birth length. At 6 months of age IL-6 was found to influence triceps skinfolds predominantly in late pregnancy. TNFα in early pregnancy was found to influence general adiposity and various skinfolds. Early, late and fetal TNFα were also found to correlate with various markers anthropometry at 6 months.

Conclusion: Maternal inflammatory markers have a significant role to play in the determination of neonatal and infant anthropometry. This data emphasises the importance of the antenatal inflammatory markers in the prediction of neonatal and infant anthropometry. They exert their influence throughout the antenatal period and it persists beyond the neonatal period and therefore may play a role in the predisposition towards early childhood obesity.

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