MATERNAL ADHERENCE TO A MEDITERRANEAN DIET DURING PREGNANCY, INFANT DNA METHYLATION AT BIRTH AND WEIGHT GAIN IN INFANCY Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Nahm, Sarah
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health
Abstract
  • The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the association between maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy, infant DNA methylation at birth at 5 differentially methylation regions (DMRs) of imprinted genes, and weight gain in the first year of life. The first paper of this dissertation uses multinomial logistic regression models to determine the association between maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet in early pregnancy and infant DNA methylation at birth. Results suggested an association between a lower level of methylation at the MEG3 IG DMR and lower adherence to a Mediterranean diet. This association was only evident in girls. The second paper focused on the association between infant DNA methylation at birth and weight gain between birth and age 1, as measured by change in weight-for-length Z scores. Results of linear regressions showed that a higher methylation level at the MEG3 DMR was associated with a lower weight gain in the first year of life. This association was evident in boys and in infants with lower than the median birth weight for the study sample. In the third aim, the potential mediation by DNA methylation in the relationship between maternal Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and weight gain in the first year of life was explored. However, the presence of mediation was not assessed due to sample size and methodological limitations. Overall these findings suggest that maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet during early pregnancy affects infant DNA methylation of select imprinted genes at birth, and infant DNA methylation at select imprinted genes is associated with weight gain in infancy. However, no differentially methylated regions included in this study were associated with both maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet and weight gain in infancy.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Hoyo, Cathrine
  • Robinson, Whitney
  • Hogan, Vijaya
  • Mendez, Michelle
  • Rowley, Diane
  • Hussey, Jon
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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