Public Release: 

Low birth weight and preeclampsia tend to reoccur in the next generation

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 in an oral concurrent session at 1:15 p.m. PST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in San Diego, researchers will present findings on a study of mothers and daughters where low birth weight and preeclampsia were found to reoccur in the next generation.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition marked by high blood pressure and can include high concentrations of proteins in the urine which can lead to organ damage. If untreated, preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia which is a life threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is associated with multiple maternal and fetal adverse effects. Researchers have not been able to identify cause or how to predict the condition. This study provides insight into an association between low birth weight and preeclampsia in multi generations.

The study, titled Like Mother, Like Daughter--Low Birth Weight and Preeclampsia Tend to Reoccur at the Next Generation looked at the perinatal information of 2314 triads of mothers and daughters giving birth in a medical center between the years of 1991-2012. Grandchildren were included in the same database. The study looked at 1493 mothers, 1619 daughters and 2314 grandchildren. Low birth weight in mothers, adjusting for maternal age, placental pathology, preeclampsia and parity, was found a significant predictor for low birth weight in offspring. Likewise, preeclampsia was also noted as a significant intergenerational factor following adjustments for maternal age, and parity.

"Pregnant women with maternal family history of low birth weight or preeclampsia should be informed regarding these outcomes and should be monitored more closely," stated Yehonatan Sherf, M.D. , one of the researchers of the study who is also presenting the findings at the SMFM annual meeting. The study was performed at the Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Careful surveillance among high-risk pregnancies may be helpful in early detection of complications such as preeclampsia as well as neonatal low birth weight.


Abstract 47: Like mother like daughter- low birthweight and preeclampsia tend to re-ocurre at the next generation

Authors: Yehonatan Sherf1, Eyal Sheiner1, Ilana shoham vardi1, Natalya Bilenko1 1Ben-Gurion university of the Negev, Public Health, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Objective: To evaluate the influence of intergenerational factors on low birthweight (LBW) and preeclampsia.

Study Design: A retrospective population-based study was conducted. Perinatal information of 2314 triads of mothers, daughters giving births in a tertiary medical center between the years 1991-2012 and grandchildren was matched into the same database. Multivariate logistic regression analysis and generalized estimating equation cluster analysis was used to study the association between LBW and preeclampsia in both generations while controlling for confounders, and for clusters of families in the database.

Results: A total of 1493 mothers to, 1619 daughters, and 2314 grandchildren were included. LBW in mothers was found as a significant predictor for LBW in offspring (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.6, P=0.012; Table) adjusted for maternal age, placental pathology, preeclampsia, parity. Likewise, preeclampsia was also noted as a significant intergenerational factor, adjusted for maternal age, and parity, in another model (adjusted OR= 2.9, 95% CI 1.5-5.7, P=0.002; Table).

Conclusion: Maternal low birthweight and preeclampsia are both independent risk factors for recurrence at the next generation.

Models summary - intergenerational factors

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