Maternal obesity and long-term neuropsychiatric morbidity of the offspring

Zipora Feiga Neuhaus, Gil Gutvirtz, Gali Pariente, Tamar Wainstock, Daniella Landau, Eyal Sheiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the long-term pediatric neuropsychiatric morbidity of children born to obese patients. Study design: A population-based cohort analysis was performed comparing all deliveries of obese (maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or more) and non-obese patients between 1991 and 2014 at a single tertiary medical center. Hospitalizations of the offspring up to the age of 18 years involving neuropsychiatric morbidities were evaluated according to a pre-defined set of ICD-9 codes, including autistic, eating, sleeping and movement disorders, cerebral palsy, developmental disorders, and more. A Kaplan–Meier survival curve was used to compare cumulative hospitalization rate in exposed and unexposed offspring. A Cox regression model was used to control for confounders. Results: During the study period, 242,342 deliveries met the inclusion criteria. Of them, 3290 were children of obese mothers. Hospitalizations involving neuropsychiatric morbidities were higher in children born to obese mothers compared with those born to non-obese mothers (3.95% vs. 3.10%, p < 0.01). Specifically, offspring of obese mothers had higher rates of autism spectrum disorders and psychiatric disorders. The Kaplan–Meier survival curve demonstrated a significantly higher cumulative incidence of neuropsychiatric-related hospitalizations in the obese group (Fig. 1, log rank p < 0.05). Using a cox proportional hazard model, controlling for maternal age, preterm labor, maternal diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and birthweight, maternal obesity was found to be independently associated with long-term neuropsychiatric morbidity of the offspring (adjusted HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.04–1.47, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Maternal obesity is an independent risk factor for long-term neuropsychiatric morbidity of the offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Follow-up
  • Long term
  • Neurological disease
  • Obesity
  • Pediatric hospitalization
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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