Case study 5: Body mass index

Body mass index (BMI) is one method used to estimate a person’s total amount of body fat. Current research suggests that a woman’s weight prior to conception can have adverse birth and health outcomes on their children. This study investigated the impact a mother’s pre-conception BMI has on their children’s health in their first five years of life. The researchers found that children of mothers classified as obese or underweight had an increased risk of negative health outcomes in their first five years of life than the children of mothers with a normal BMI.

How did the PHRN infrastructure help?
The Data Linkage Queensland (DLQ) linked the Environments for Healthy Living study cohort to midwives and hospital data collections for the research team to analyse.

Cameron CM, Shibl R, McClure RJ, Ng SK, Hills AP.

Cameron CM, Shibl R, McClure RJ, Ng SK, Hills AP. Maternal pregravid body mass index and child hospital admissions in the first 5 years of life: results from an Australian birth cohort. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Oct;38(10):1268-74.Accessed 2 September 2016 <>