Prenatal and perinatal risk factors for eating disorders in women: A population cohort study

Hunna J. Watson, Elizabeth W. Diemer, Stephanie Zerwas, Kristin Gustavson, Gun Peggy Knudsen, Leila Torgersen, Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud, Cynthia M. Bulik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: The fetal programming model hypothesizes that developmental programming in utero and in early life induces adaptations that predetermine the adult phenotype. This study investigated whether prenatal/perinatal complications are associated with lifetime eating disorders in women. Method: Participants included 46,373 adult women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (den norske Mor & barn-undersøkelsen [MoBa]). MoBa mothers and their mothers (MoBa grandmothers) were the focus of the current study. MoBa mothers with lifetime eating disorders were compared to a referent group. Results: MoBa mothers who weighed more at birth (birth weight, adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.19) or were born large-for-gestational-age (adjusted OR = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.27–1.52) were more likely to develop binge-eating disorder in later life. MoBa mothers who weighed less at birth were more likely to develop anorexia nervosa (birth weight, adjusted OR = 0.88; 95% CI: 0.81–0.95). Bulimia nervosa and purging disorder (PD) were not significantly predicted by the prenatal and perinatal factors examined. Discussion: Results of this study, which include the first known investigation of prenatal and perinatal factors in binge-eating disorder and PD, suggest that fetal programming may be relevant to the development of anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Future genetically informative research is needed to help disentangle whether these associations are a function of genetic influences or a true environmental fetal programming effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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Binge-Eating Disorder
Cohort Studies
Fetal Development
Population
Anorexia Nervosa
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Birth Weight
Parturition
Bulimia Nervosa
Gestational Age
Mothers
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Grandparents
Phenotype
Research

Cite this

Watson, H. J., Diemer, E. W., Zerwas, S., Gustavson, K., Knudsen, G. P., Torgersen, L., ... Bulik, C. M. (2019). Prenatal and perinatal risk factors for eating disorders in women: A population cohort study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 52(6), 643-651. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23073
Watson, Hunna J. ; Diemer, Elizabeth W. ; Zerwas, Stephanie ; Gustavson, Kristin ; Knudsen, Gun Peggy ; Torgersen, Leila ; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted ; Bulik, Cynthia M. / Prenatal and perinatal risk factors for eating disorders in women : A population cohort study. In: International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2019 ; Vol. 52, No. 6. pp. 643-651.
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abstract = "Objective: The fetal programming model hypothesizes that developmental programming in utero and in early life induces adaptations that predetermine the adult phenotype. This study investigated whether prenatal/perinatal complications are associated with lifetime eating disorders in women. Method: Participants included 46,373 adult women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (den norske Mor & barn-unders{\o}kelsen [MoBa]). MoBa mothers and their mothers (MoBa grandmothers) were the focus of the current study. MoBa mothers with lifetime eating disorders were compared to a referent group. Results: MoBa mothers who weighed more at birth (birth weight, adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.14; 95{\%} confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.19) or were born large-for-gestational-age (adjusted OR = 1.39; 95{\%} CI: 1.27–1.52) were more likely to develop binge-eating disorder in later life. MoBa mothers who weighed less at birth were more likely to develop anorexia nervosa (birth weight, adjusted OR = 0.88; 95{\%} CI: 0.81–0.95). Bulimia nervosa and purging disorder (PD) were not significantly predicted by the prenatal and perinatal factors examined. Discussion: Results of this study, which include the first known investigation of prenatal and perinatal factors in binge-eating disorder and PD, suggest that fetal programming may be relevant to the development of anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Future genetically informative research is needed to help disentangle whether these associations are a function of genetic influences or a true environmental fetal programming effect.",
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Watson, HJ, Diemer, EW, Zerwas, S, Gustavson, K, Knudsen, GP, Torgersen, L, Reichborn-Kjennerud, T & Bulik, CM 2019, 'Prenatal and perinatal risk factors for eating disorders in women: A population cohort study' International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 52, no. 6, pp. 643-651. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23073

Prenatal and perinatal risk factors for eating disorders in women : A population cohort study. / Watson, Hunna J.; Diemer, Elizabeth W.; Zerwas, Stephanie; Gustavson, Kristin; Knudsen, Gun Peggy; Torgersen, Leila; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted; Bulik, Cynthia M.

In: International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 52, No. 6, 01.06.2019, p. 643-651.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Prenatal and perinatal risk factors for eating disorders in women

T2 - A population cohort study

AU - Watson, Hunna J.

AU - Diemer, Elizabeth W.

AU - Zerwas, Stephanie

AU - Gustavson, Kristin

AU - Knudsen, Gun Peggy

AU - Torgersen, Leila

AU - Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted

AU - Bulik, Cynthia M.

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