Maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring body mass index and overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract: The present study aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the evidence on the association of maternal smoking during pregnancy with offspring body composition in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. MEDLINE, Web of Science and LILACS databases were searched. Reference lists were also screened. We included original studies, conducted in humans, that assessed the association of maternal smoking during pregnancy with offspring body mass index (BMI) and overweight in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, published through May 1st, 2018. A meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled effect sizes. The systematic review included 64 studies, of which 37 evaluated the association of maternal smoking during pregnancy with overweight, 13 with BMI, and 14 evaluated both outcomes. Of these 64 studies, 95 measures of effect were extracted and included in the meta-analysis. We verified that the quality of evidence across studies regarding maternal smoking in pregnancy and overweight and BMI of offspring to be moderate and low, respectively. Most studies (44 studies) were classified as moderate risk bias. Heterogeneity among studies included was high and, in the random-effects pooled analysis, maternal smoking during pregnancy increased the odds of offspring overweight (OR: 1.43, 95%CI: 1.35; 1.52) and mean difference of BMI (β: 0.31, 95%CI: 0.23; 0.39). In conclusion, offspring of mothers who smoked during pregnancy have higher odds of overweight and mean difference of BMI, and these associations persisted into adulthood.