Open Access Research article

Maternal anthropometric characteristics in pregnancy and blood pressure among adolescents: 1993 live birth cohort, Pelotas, southern Brazil

Helen C Laura*, Ana B Menezes, Ricardo B Noal, Pedro C Hallal and Cora L Araújo

Author Affiliations

Post-Graduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, CP 464, 96001-970, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:434  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-434

Published: 23 July 2010



We investigated the association between maternal anthropometric measurements in prepregnancy and at the end of pregnancy and their children's systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure at 11 years of age, in a prospective cohort study.


All hospital births which took place in 1993 in the city of Pelotas - Brazil, were identified (5,249 live births). In 2004, the overall proportion of follow-up was 85% and we obtained arterial blood pressure measurements of 4,452 adolescents.


Independent variables analyzed included maternal prepregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI) and maternal weight, and height at the end of pregnancy. Multiple linear regression analysis controlling for the following confounders were carried out: adolescent's skin color, family income at birth, smoking, alcohol intake during pregnancy, and gestational arterial hypertension. Mean SBP and DBP were 101.9 mmHg (SD 12.3) and 63.4 mmHg (SD 9.9), respectively. Maternal prepregnancy weight and BMI, and weight at the end of pregnancy were positively associated with both SBP and DBP in adolescent subjects of both sexes; maternal height was positively associated with SBP only among males.


Adequate evaluation of maternal anthropometric characteristics during pregnancy may prevent high levels of blood pressure among adolescent children.