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Obesity in pregnant women: risk of heart defects in babies? In a recently published study by US researchers, obesity in pregnant women is said to increase the risk of congenital heart defects in their babies.
In a recently published study by US researchers, obesity in pregnant women is said to increase the risk of congenital heart defects in their babies. The scientists around Dr. James L. Mills of the National Health Institute in Bethesda, New York, knew that obesity could cause a number of problems in pregnant women. One of these can be a defect in the neural tube, as the scientists report in their study published in the American journal “Clinical Nutrition”. In embryos, the neural tube is the system for the later spinal cord and brain. Defects here are e.g. Spina bifida (open back) - the neural tube does not close properly - and anencephaly - there is a lack of predominant parts of the brain and skull cap.
And now the researchers wanted to investigate the influence of obesity on later congenital heart defects. To do this, they used data from 10 years (1993 to 2003) of the Congenital Malformation Register in the State of New York (not New York City) about the maternal body mass index (BMI), types of congenital heart defect and other risk factors. Around 7400 mothers of children with congenital heart defects and about 56300 unaffected control cases were examined.
Thereafter, the risk of congenital heart defects in babies with obese mothers during pregnancy should be increased by 15 percent compared to mothers with an average body mass index. The scientists from Bethesda also examined the extent of obesity: if there is a low level, there is a risk of 10 percent; if the obesity is severe (BMI greater than 30), the risk increases to more than 30 percent. The researchers indicated that it would make sense to investigate whether weight loss in pregnant mothers reduces the risk of babies with congenital heart defects. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, 04/11/2010)
Abstract of the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Spina bifida (open back)
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