Effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on body composition in offspring

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Background:The aim of the present cross–sectional study was to use objective methods to assess the association between maternal smoking and body composition in offspring.Methods:A total of 2508 grade 4 school children were enrolled; all underwent lifestyle disease and passive smoking screening. Children were classified into four groups according to their urinary cotinine level and maternal smoking status during or before pregnancy. Items measured on lifestyle disease screening were compared among the four groups.Results:Only degree of obesity (DO) and body mass index (BMI) were significantly associated with maternal smoking during pregnancy. The prevalence of both DO >20% and DO >30%, and BMI >22% and BMI >25% was highest in children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy. These children had a tendency toward shorter height and increased weight although it was not statistically significant. There were no significant differences between maternal smoking status and lipid profile among groups. Confounders such as food, exercise and sleep were able to be eliminatedConclusion:Maternal smoking during pregnancy may be an independent risk factor of changing body composition in offspring, that is, shorter height and increased weight.

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