Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) may be a risk factor for childhood allergic diseases, according to a study published online Sept. 2 in JAMA Network Open.
Yiting Chen, M.D., from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and colleagues examined the association of maternal prepregnancy body mass index and GWG with the risk for childhood allergic diseases (asthma or wheezing, allergic rhinitis, eczema, and food or drug allergy) among 15,145 mother-child pairs.
The researchers found that excessive GWG was associated with higher risks for asthma/wheezing (19 percent), allergic rhinitis (11 percent), and eczema (10 percent) in children. In women who were overweight/obese before pregnancy, GWG extremely above the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guideline was associated with the highest risk for childhood asthma/wheezing (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 1.42), allergic rhinitis (aPR, 1.32), and eczema (aPR, 1.24). Among mothers with normal prepregnancy weight, GWG below the IOM guideline was associated with a lower risk for childhood asthma/wheezing (13 percent), allergic rhinitis (11 percent), eczema (14 percent), and food/drug allergy (15 percent). Findings were similar for underweight mothers.
“In view of the high prevalence of childhood allergic diseases and their effect on the health of children, it is recommended that women maintain appropriate weight before pregnancy and prevent excessive GWG as potential prevention measures for allergic diseases in their children,” the authors write.