Childhood body mass index at 5.5 years mediates the effect of prenatal maternal stress on daughters' age at menarche: Project Ice Storm.

TitleChildhood body mass index at 5.5 years mediates the effect of prenatal maternal stress on daughters' age at menarche: Project Ice Storm.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDuchesne A, Liu A, Jones SL, Laplante DP, King S
JournalJ Dev Orig Health Dis
Volume8
Issue2
Pagination168-177
Date Published2017 Apr
ISSN2040-1752
Abstract

Early pubertal timing is known to put women at greater risk for adverse physiological and psychological health outcomes. Of the factors that influence girls' pubertal timing, stress experienced during childhood has been found to advance age at menarche (AAM). However, it is not known if stress experienced by mothers during or in the months before conception can be similarly associated with earlier pubertal timing. Prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) is associated with metabolic changes, such as increased childhood adiposity and risk of obesity, that have been associated with earlier menarchal age. Using a prospective longitudinal design, the present study tested whether PNMS induced by a natural disaster is either directly associated with earlier AAM, or whether there is an indirect association mediated through increased girls' body mass index (BMI) during childhood. A total of 31 girls, whose mothers were exposed to the Quebec's January 1998 ice storm during pregnancy were followed from 6 months to 5 1/2 to 5.5 years of age. Mother's stress was measured within 6 months of the storm. BMI was measured at 5.5 years, and AAM was assessed through teen's self-report at 13.5 and 15.5 years of age. Results revealed that greater BMI at 5.5 years mediated the effect of PNMS on decreasing AAM [B=-0.059, 95% confidence intervals (-0.18, -0.0035)]. The present study is the first to demonstrate that maternal experience of stressful conditions during pregnancy reduces AAM in the offspring through its effects on childhood BMI. Future research should consider the impact of AAM on other measures of reproductive ability.

DOI10.1017/S2040174416000726
Alternate JournalJ Dev Orig Health Dis
PubMed ID28027719

McGill Logo

CIUSSS ouest montreal logo

 



  • Douglas Hospital
  • Dobell Pavillion
  • Brain imaging centre