Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33911208
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41430-021-00907-4
Eur J Clin Nutr 2022 02; 76(2): 328-333
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing among reproductive-age women in sub-Saharan Africa. Whether maternal body mass index (BMI) influences the risk of infant infections in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is uncertain. We used data from a birth cohort of 5344 HIV-unexposed Zimbabwean infants with available data on maternal BMI, to calculate rates of sick clinic visits for infections during the first 12 months postpartum, and adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) for each maternal BMI group. Compared to infants of mothers with normal BMI, the rate of sick clinic visits for any infection progressively rose among infants of overweight (aHR 1.05; 95%CI 0.99, 1.11) and obese women (aHR 1.15; 95%CI 1.05, 1.25). Excess clinic attendances were particularly due to skin, respiratory and ear infections. Maternal obesity may therefore influence infant infectious morbidity in LMIC over the first year after birth.