Article: PDF OnlyA Low Prepregnancy Body Mass Index Is a Risk Factor for an Offspring with GastroschisisLam, Phung K.; Torfs, Claudine P.; Brand, Richard J.Author Information From the 'California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, Emeryville, CA; and the 'Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, University of California, San Francisco, CA Epidemiology: November 1999 - Volume 10 - Issue 6 - p 717-721 Free Abstract A mother's prepregnancy obesity has been suggested as a risk factor for having offspring with an abdominal wall defect. We evaluated this hypothesis among 104 cases of gastroschisis—a severe birth defect of the abdominal wall most prevalent in infants of young women—and 220 controls with no defect. Using Quetelet's index (QI = weight in kg/height in m2) as a measure of body mass, we found a higher risk of gastroschisis (odds ratio (OR) = 3.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4–7.3) for underweight mothers (QI <18.1 kg/m2) and a lower risk (OR = 0.2; 0.05–0.9) for overweight mothers (QI >28.3 kg/m2) as compared with mothers of normal weight. As QI was correlated to height, with the correlation varying according to mother's ethnicity and age, we adjusted for these factors in the analysis; the adjusted values approximated the unadjusted values. Evaluation of QI as a continuous variable showed that, for every unit increase in QI, the risk for gastroschisis decreased by about 11%. Sociodemographic, pregnancy, and nutrient factors did not confound the association. These results suggest that low prepregnancy body mass rather than obesity is a risk factor for gastroschisis. (Epidemiology 1999; 10:717–721) © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.