Background: Pregnancy is an opportunity to adopt favorable health behaviors. We studied whether intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) promotes favorable health behavior in later life. Design: A prospective controlled cohort study. The method was a questionnaire survey in 2010 among 575 women with ICP and 1374 controls, all having delivered between the years 1969 and 1988 in Tampere University Hospital in Finland. Questionnaires were sent to 544 ICP patients and 1235 controls. Responses were received from 1178 (response rate 66.2%). The main outcome measures concerning recent or current health behavior were smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and special diet. Results: Current smoking was less common in the ICP group than among controls (10.5% vs 15.7%, p = 0.017). Assessed by smoking pack years there was a similar difference: in the ICP group 11.7% of women had at least 10 smoking pack years compared to 18.0% of the controls (p = 0.006). Recent alcohol consumption did not separate the two groups. The groups did not differ as to reported physical activity assessed in MET units. Fewer ICP women had had BMIs of 30 or more during pregnancy compared with controls (18.8% vs 25.1%, p = 0.023). In other points of life the BMI differences were not statistically significant. Weight-loss diet and gallbladder diet were more common in the ICP group (6.3% vs 3.6%, p = 0.044, and 3.0% vs 1.3%, p = 0.038). Conclusions: Having developed ICP two to four decades earlier seemed to constitute an effective intervention for smoking habits but not for other aspects of health behavior.
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