Maternal Prepregnancy BMI and Risk of Cerebral Palsy in Offspring

Ingeborg Forthun, Allen J Wilcox, Katrine Strandberg-Larsen, Dag Moster, Ellen A Nohr, Rolv Terje Lie, Pål Surén, Mette C Tollånes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the association between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and risk of cerebral palsy (CP) in offspring. METHODS: The study population consisted of 188 788 children in the Mothers and Babies in Norway and Denmark CP study, using data from 2 population-based, prospective birth cohorts: the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study and the Danish National Birth Cohort. Prepregnancy BMI was classified as underweight (BMI <18.5), lower normal weight (BMI 18.5-22.9), upper normal weight (BMI 23.0-24.9), overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9), and obese (BMI ≥30). CP diagnoses were obtained from the national CP registries. Associations between maternal prepregnancy BMI and CP in offspring were investigated by using logbinomial regression models. RESULTS: The 2 cohorts had 390 eligible cases of CP (2.1 per 1000 live-born children). Compared with mothers in the lower normal weight group, mothers in the upper normal group had a 40% excess risk of having a child with CP (relative risk [RR], 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.78). Excess risk was 60% (RR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.21-2.01) for overweight mothers and 60% (RR, 1.55; 95% CI 1.11-2.18) for obese mothers. The risk of CP increased ∼4% for each unit increase in BMI (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06). Estimates changed little with adjustment for mother's occupational status, age, and smoking habits. CONCLUSIONS: Higher prepregnancy maternal BMI was associated with increased risk of CP in offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere 20160874
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1-9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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