Obesity before pregnancy can result in birth defects

Women who are obese just before becoming pregnant face the risk of delivering babies having birth defects, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas.

 Obesity before pregnancy can result in birth defects
Women who are obese just before becoming pregnant face the risk of delivering babies having birth defects, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas.

The details of the study appear in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Researchers used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and analyzed over 15,000 cases before arriving at this conclusion. They also examined data from 1997 and 2002 and looked at 10,000 babies with birth defects, comparing them to 4,000 normal babies.

Lead researcher Dr. D. Kim Waller and colleagues found that obese mothers were twice more likely to deliver babies that would have a spinal defect called spina bifida. Other defects involving heart, anus, penis, limbs, diaphragm and navel were also prevalent in babies born to obese mothers.

The researchers said, "A similar mechanism to that occurring in women with diabetes may be responsible for the associations observed between maternal obesity and specific categories of birth defects". Earlier studies have linked high glucose levels during pregnancy to prevalence of birth defects in offspring.

"Our study supports previous evidence as well as provides new evidence for the associations between maternal obesity and particular categories of birth defects," the researchers concluded.

The study also found that underweight mothers were at risk of delivering babies with cleft lip.

Agencies
Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2007, 16:50
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