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Associations of Maternal Educational Level, Proximity to Greenspace During Pregnancy, and Gestational Diabetes With Body Mass Index From Infancy to Early Adulthood: A Proof-of-Concept Federated Analysis in 18 Birth Cohorts

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posted on 2024-05-27, 06:50 authored by Tim Cadman, Ahmed Elhakeem, Johan Lerbech Vinther, Demetris Avraam, Paula Carrasco, Lucinda Calas, Marloes Cardo, Marie-Aline Charles, Eva Corpeleijn, Sarah Crozier, Montserrat de Castro, Marisa Estarlich, Amanda Fernandes, Serena Fossatti, Dariusz Gruszfeld, Kathrin Gurlich, Veit Grote, Sido Haakma, Jennifer R Harris, Barbara Heude, Rae-Chi Huang, Jesús Ibarluzea, Hazel Inskip, Vincent Jaddoe, Berthold Koletzko, Veronica Luque, Yannis Manios, Giovenale Moirano, George MoschonisGeorge Moschonis, Johanna Nader, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Rosie McEachen, Angela Pinot de Moira, Maja Popovic, Theano Roumeliotaki, Theodosia Salika, Loreto Santa Marina, Susana Santos, Sylvain Serbert, Evangelia Tzorovili, Marina Vafeiadi, Elvira Verduci, Martine Vrijheid, TGM Vrijkotte, Marieke Welten, John Wright, Tiffany C Yang, Daniela Zugna, Deborah Lawlor
International sharing of cohort data for research is important and challenging. We explored the feasibility of multicohort federated analyses by examining associations between 3 pregnancy exposures (maternal education, exposure to green vegetation, and gestational diabetes) and offspring body mass index (BMI) from infancy to age 17 years. We used data from 18 cohorts (n = 206,180 mother-child pairs) from the EU Child Cohort Network and derived BMI at ages 0-1, 2-3, 4-7, 8-13, and 14-17 years. Associations were estimated using linear regression via 1-stage individual participant data meta-analysis using DataSHIELD. Associations between lower maternal education and higher child BMI emerged from age 4 and increased with age (difference in BMI z score comparing low with high education, at age 2-3 years = 0.03 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.00, 0.05), at 4-7 years = 0.16 (95% CI: 0.14, 0.17), and at 8-13 years = 0.24 (95% CI: 0.22, 0.26)). Gestational diabetes was positively associated with BMI from age 8 years (BMI z score difference = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.12, 0.25) but not at younger ages; however, associations attenuated towards the null when restricted to cohorts that measured gestational diabetes via universal screening. Exposure to green vegetation was weakly associated with higher BMI up to age 1 year but not at older ages. Opportunities of cross-cohort federated analyses are discussed.


Publication Date



American Journal of Epidemiology






11p. (p. 753-763)


Oxford University Press



Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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