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Objectives

Study effect of maternal gestational weight gain (GWG) on the relationship between maternal menarcheal age (MMA) and child growth and overweight risk and examine socio-demographics characteristics of excessive GWG.

Design and Methods

The relationships between GWG and MMA in 54,184 women and their children's growth trajectories during first 5 years of life (2000-2005) in south China were tested using longitudinal data analysis with mixed models and logistic regression.

Results

Average MMA was 14.8 (1.3) years; 36.3% of the women had excessive GWG. Excessive GWG interacted with adverse effects of early MMA (if ≤ 13 years), leading to the most rapid growth in offspring and highest risk of overweight at age 4-5 (OR = 5.2 [2.0-13.5]) than others. Women with early menarche, high-education, urban residence, and a routine job were more likely to have excessive GWG than the others.

Conclusions

GWG modify the association between early MMA and offspring's growth and overweight. Controlling for GWG may reduce the adverse influence of early MMA and its own adverse influence on childhood health.