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Discordant time trends in maternal body size and offspring birthweight of term deliveries in France between 1972 and 2003: data from the French National Perinatal Surveys

Authors

  • Ibrahima Diouf,

    Corresponding author
    1. INSERM, Unit 1018, Center for Epidemiology and Populations Health (CESP)
    2. Villejuif, Univ Paris-Sud, Faculty of Medicine, Kremlin-Bicêtre
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  • Marie Aline Charles,

    1. INSERM, Unit 1018, Center for Epidemiology and Populations Health (CESP)
    2. Villejuif, Univ Paris-Sud, Faculty of Medicine, Kremlin-Bicêtre
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  • Beatrice Blondel,

    1. INSERM UMRS 953 Epidemiologic Research on Perinatal and Women and Children's Health, UPMC Univ Paris, Paris, France
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  • Barbara Heude,

    1. INSERM, Unit 1018, Center for Epidemiology and Populations Health (CESP)
    2. Villejuif, Univ Paris-Sud, Faculty of Medicine, Kremlin-Bicêtre
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  • Monique Kaminski

    1. INSERM UMRS 953 Epidemiologic Research on Perinatal and Women and Children's Health, UPMC Univ Paris, Paris, France
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Ibrahima Diouf, INSERM U1018, 16 Avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94807 Villejuif cedex, France. E-mail: ibrahima.diouf@inserm.fr

Summary

Diouf I, Charles MA, Blondel B, Heude B, Kaminski M. Discordant time trends in maternal body size and offspring birthweight of term deliveries in France between 1972 and 2003: data from the French National Perinatal Surveys. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2011; 25: 210–217.

We investigated time trends in maternal weight before and during pregnancy and in infant birthweight in France, from 1972 to 2003, using data on singleton live term births from the representative National Perinatal Surveys of 1972, 1981, 1995, 1998 and 2003 (n = 8 664, 4 494, 11 445, 12 006, 12 692, respectively). Mothers were interviewed a few days after delivery and data on delivery and the newborn were extracted from hospital records. Maternal prepregnancy weight, height, body mass index and pregnancy weight gain all increased from 1972 to 2003; however, birthweight did not show a parallel trend. After taking gestational age, maternal age, parity, country of origin, newborn gender and maternal smoking during pregnancy into account, mean birthweight increased between 1972 and 1995 but decreased thereafter and, consistently, there was an increase in small-for-gestational age (SGA) and a decrease in large-for-gestational age newborns. Further adjustment for induced delivery, an indicator of obstetric practice, did not change the results. A similar variation has been observed very recently in the US and in Germany. Further research is needed to identify the factors responsible for these discordant changes and especially the factors responsible for the recent increase in SGA since this has been shown to be associated with poorer health in later life.

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