Maternal H. pylori seropositivity is associated with gestational hypertension but is irrelevant to fetal growth and development in early childhood

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Background: Helicobacter pylori infection is known to alter growth-related hormones and affect growth in young children. However, it is still unknown whether maternal H. pylori infection has an impact on the levels of cord blood growth-related hormones and whether this can predict intrauterine growth restriction and poor physical and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children. This study aimed to examine associations between maternal H. pylori infection and pregnancy-related adverse events, fetal growth and early childhood development. Methods: In this prospective cohort study, we recruited singleton pregnant women without major medical illnesses from January 2014 to January 2015. Seropositivity for H. pylori was defined as > 12 U/ml of anti-H. pylori IgG in maternal serum. Demographic data and pregnancy-related medical issues of the cohort were documented. Cord blood levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), insulin, and ghrelin were determined using ELISA. The growth of the included neonates was monitored annually for up to 3 years, and cognitive development was assessed using the comprehensive developmental inventory for infants and toddlers (CDIIT) test 3 years after birth. Results: Of the 106 enrolled women, 25 (23.6%) were H. pylori-seropositive. Maternal H. pylori seropositivity was correlated with a higher risk of developing gestational hypertension (GH) (12% vs. 1.2%, p = 0.04) and lower cord blood levels of IGF-1 (< 35 ng/ml, 70.0% vs. 40.7%, p = 0.02) and IGFBP-3 (< 1120 ng/ml, 100.0% vs. 76.3%, p = 0.02) compared with the seronegative women. No significant impacts on birth weight, childhood growth and cognitive development were found to be correlated with maternal H. pylori seropositivity during pregnancy. Conclusions: Maternal H. pylori infection during pregnancy was more likely to lead to the development of GH, but was not correlated with fetal and childhood growth and development. In addition to close monitoring of hypertension, H. pylori eradication can be considered for mothers with H. pylori infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number501
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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