Association between pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity and children's neurocognitive development: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Research paper by Celia C Álvarez-Bueno, Ivan I Cavero-Redondo, Lidia L Lucas-de la Cruz, Blanca B Notario-Pacheco, Vicente V Martínez-Vizcaíno

Indexed on: 19 Oct '17Published on: 19 Oct '17Published in: International journal of epidemiology


Obesity and overweight during pregnancy have been negatively associated with fetal and offspring neurodevelopment. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the effect of the relationship between pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity with children's neurocognitive development.We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and the Web of Science databases from their inception through February 2017 for follow-up studies comparing the relationship between pre-pregnancy weight status and children's cognition. The Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effects method was used to calculate pooled effect size (ES) values and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing children's neurocognitive development between pre-pregnancy normal weight, as reference, with overweight and obesity categories.Fifteen articles were included in the systematic review, and nine of them in the meta-analysis. The pooled ES values for overweight and obese mothers were -0.02 (95% CI: -0.05 to 0.02) and -0.06 (95% CI: -0.09 to -0.03), respectively. The pooled ES for the relationship between pre-gestational excess weight (overweight and obesity) and children's neurocognitive development was -0.04 (95% CI: -0.06 to -0.02).Pre-pregnancy obesity might have negative consequences on the neurocognitive development of offspring.