Li N, Arbuckle TE, Muckle G, Lanphear BP, Boivin M, Chen A, Dodds L, Fraser WD, Ouellet E, Séguin JR, Velez MP, Yolton K, Braun JM. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Oct 25;99:257-264. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204863.
The health of infants can be influenced by their mother’s health during pregnancy. Therefore it is important to identify early markers in pregnancy that might predict poorer health outcomes for the infants. Low or high birth weights can affect the infant’s health, including their health later in life. This study was designed to identify maternal markers associated with the weight of the infant at delivery.
In this study, maternal blood collected from MIREC women during the third trimester of pregnancy was analysed for various biological molecules to identify markers that are associated with low or high birth weight babies, adjusted for the gestational age at delivery. These markers could represent the health of maternal blood vessels, as well as markers of inflammation. Statistical analyses were conducted to test if any of these maternal markers or any other maternal characteristics such as blood pressure, education level, age and body mass index were associated with low or high infant birth weights.
The results suggested that third trimester maternal plasma markers in combination with maternal health (e.g., blood pressure) and characteristics (e.g., education, parity) can be useful in predicting infants born either small or large for their gestational age.
This research was led by scientists at Health Canada.