The association between maltreatment in childhood and pre-pregnancy obesity in women attending an antenatal clinic in Australia

Hollingsworth, Katharine, Callaway, Leonie, Duhig, Michael, Matheson, Sally and Scott, James (2012) The association between maltreatment in childhood and pre-pregnancy obesity in women attending an antenatal clinic in Australia. PLoS One, 72 12: e51868.1-e51868.6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051868


Author Hollingsworth, Katharine
Callaway, Leonie
Duhig, Michael
Matheson, Sally
Scott, James
Title The association between maltreatment in childhood and pre-pregnancy obesity in women attending an antenatal clinic in Australia
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2012-12-31
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0051868
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 72
Issue 12
Start page e51868.1
End page e51868.6
Total pages 6
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction: Obesity in pregnancy is associated with increased risk of complications and adverse outcomes in mother and child. Childhood adverse experiences are known to have numerous negative physical and emotional sequelae. We aimed to examine if exposure to abuse and/or neglect in childhood increased the likelihood of pre-pregnancy obesity.

Methods: Demographic and clinical data including weight, height, mental health as measured by the General Health Questionnaire and exposure to childhood trauma as measured by the childhood trauma questionnaire was collected from 239 women attending antenatal care at an Australian tertiary hospital.

Results: More than one quarter of women were obese prior to pregnancy and approximately 20% of women self reported experiencing moderate to severe physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Almost 60% of women scored in the clinical range on the GHQ. Pre-pregnancy obesity in women attending antenatal care was associated with a self-reported history of emotional or physical abuse with those exposed to moderate or severe emotional or physical abuse having increased odds of being obese prior to pregnancy (O.R. and 95% CI: 2.40; 1.19-4.84 and 2.38; 1.18-4.79 respectively). There was no significant association between other forms of childhood maltreatment, demographic or current mental health status and pre-pregnancy obesity.

Conclusions: The high rates of obesity, mental health problems and self reported childhood maltreatment in the Australian antenatal population are serious public health concerns due to the extra health risks conferred on mother and offspring. Exposure to physical or emotional abuse during childhood increases the likelihood of obesity in women attending antenatal care. Further research is required to determine reasons for this association.
Keyword Obesity
Pregnancy
Childhood neglect
Childhood abuse
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number e51868

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2013 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 12 Feb 2013, 14:34:15 EST by Mrs Maureen Pollard on behalf of Paediatrics & Child Health - RBWH