Background: Metabolic syndrome is associated with the rising incidence of obesity in developed countries, particularly in urban settings and is reaching epidemic proportions. Qatar, a rapidly modernizing country, has witnessed dramatic changes in urbanization and lifestyle. Recent studies demonstrate a significant prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome in Qatari population. According to a New York Times article (April 2010), the International Association for the Study of Obesity has ranked Qatar sixth globally for prevalence of obesity. Epidemiological studies suggest that a poor uterine environment elicited by maternal environmental exposure may program fetus susceptibility to develop cardiovascular and metabolic disease in childhood and later in life. Several studies have demonstrated the associations between pre-pregnancy obesity, chronic hypertension and dyslipidemia, and high risk of preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction. However, there are no studies to examine the metabolic profile of Arabian pregnant women in early pregnancy with birth outcomes. Objectives: The objective of the present proposal is to examine the association between metabolic syndrome and obesity in early pregnancy of Qatari women and the risk of delivery preterm or growth restricted singletons. Methods: Qatari mother-child cohort: a prospective cohort examining a population sample of pregnant women and their children at the prefecture of Doha, Qatar within 1 year. The pregnant mothers, at maternity clinics and hospitals of Doha, were contacted. The consented participants were invited to provide biological samples in two time points of their pregnancy. Participants were interviewed to obtain information on several environmental and dietary factors, together with anthropometric measurements and blood pressure. Biochemical analyses were performed on serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, high and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, apolipoproteins, leptin, adiponectin and Interleukins. Expected results: At the national level this will be the first mother-child cohort study in Qatar. The study shall provide evidence-based relationship between maternal occupational/environmental exposure, such as sedentary life style, obesity, and other metabolic syndromes, and the subsequent birth outcomes on the Qatari population. Conclusion: Based on the study results, the public health perspective will be addressed by policy makers at the Supreme Council of Health in Qatar.


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