Life course trajectories of Maternal Cardiovascular Risk Factors according to Offspring Birthweight: The HUNT Study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Women with small or large for gestational age offspring are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. How their cardiovascular risk factors develop across the life course is incompletely known. We linked data from the population-based HUNT Study (1984–2008) and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (1967–2012) for 22,487 women. Mixed effect models were used to compare cardiovascular risk factor trajectories for women according to first offspring birthweight for gestational age. Women with small for gestational age (SGA) offspring had 1–2 mmHg higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure across the life course, but lower measures of adiposity, compared to women with offspring who were appropriate for gestational age (AGA). In contrast, women with large for gestational age (LGA) offspring had higher measures of adiposity, ~0.1 mmol/l higher non-HDL cholesterol and triglycerides and 0.2 mmol/l higher non-fasting glucose, compared with mothers of AGA offspring. These differences were broadly stable from prior to first pregnancy until 60 years of age. Our findings point to different cardiovascular risk profiles in mothers of SGA versus LGA offspring, where giving birth to SGA offspring might primarily reflect adverse maternal vascular health whereas LGA offspring might reflect the mother’s metabolic health.