Lifestyle intervention in obese pregnancy and cardiac remodelling in 3-year olds: children of the UPBEAT RCT

UPBEAT Consortium

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4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Obesity in pregnancy has been associated with increased childhood cardiometabolic risk and reduced life expectancy. The UK UPBEAT multicentre randomised control trial was a lifestyle intervention of diet and physical activity in pregnant women with obesity. We hypothesised that the 3-year-old children of women with obesity would have heightened cardiovascular risk compared to children of normal BMI women, and that the UPBEAT intervention would mitigate this risk.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: Children were recruited from one UPBEAT trial centre. Cardiovascular measures included blood pressure, echocardiographic assessment of cardiac function and dimensions, carotid intima-media thickness and heart rate variability (HRV) by electrocardiogram.

RESULTS: Compared to offspring of normal BMI women (n = 51), children of women with obesity from the trial standard care arm (n = 39) had evidence of cardiac remodelling including increased interventricular septum (IVS; mean difference 0.04 cm; 95% CI: 0.018 to 0.067), posterior wall (PW; 0.03 cm; 0.006 to 0.062) and relative wall thicknesses (RWT; 0.03 cm; 0.01 to 0.05) following adjustment. Randomisation of women with obesity to the intervention arm (n = 31) prevented this cardiac remodelling (intervention effect; mean difference IVS -0.03 cm (-0.05 to -0.008); PW -0.03 cm (-0.05 to -0.01); RWT -0.02 cm (-0.04 to -0.005)). Children of women with obesity (standard care arm) compared to women of normal BMI also had elevated minimum heart rate (7 bpm; 1.41 to 13.34) evidence of early diastolic dysfunction (e prime) and increased sympathetic nerve activity index by HRV analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal obesity was associated with left ventricular concentric remodelling in 3-year-old offspring. Absence of remodelling following the maternal intervention infers in utero origins of cardiac remodelling.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY NAME AND REGISTRATION NUMBER: The UPBEAT trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials, ISRCTN89971375.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2145-2155
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number12
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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