Early death of children of obese mothers

Excessive excess weight of the mother during pregnancy increases the risk of children dying prematurely

Caring for the unborn child in the womb could have a major impact on adulthood. This was the result of a Scottish study. According to this, children of mothers who were heavily overweight during pregnancy die earlier than children of women of normal weight. According to the study, the risk of dying before the age of 55 is 35 percent higher among the offspring of obese mothers. However, the researchers acknowledge that it is difficult to make a direct link between the mother's overweight and the early death of the children. Many factors played a role in this.

Children of obese mothers have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases Children of obese mothers with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more have an increased risk of premature death than adults, according to a Scottish study. According to this, there is a 35 percent increased risk of dying before the age of 55. This is what the researchers write in the specialist magazine "BMJ". Children of overweight women with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 were 11% more likely to die prematurely than adults compared to children of normal weight mothers.

The researchers analyzed the data from 28,540 women who gave birth to 37,709 children between 1950 and 1976. Of these, 6551 daughters and sons had died before the start of their studies. Four percent of mothers suffered from obesity and 21 percent of women were overweight. In addition to the risk of premature death, the researchers also discovered prevalence for certain diseases. "The offspring of obese mothers also had an increased risk of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease compared to children of mothers with a normal BMI," the researchers write in the magazine. The risk of cardiovascular diseases was increased by 42 percent overall. "Our results suggest that the uterine environment has a significant and long-term effect on the risk of premature death of the offspring." It is therefore "urgently necessary" that overweight women lose weight before pregnancy, the researchers warn

However, it is difficult "to establish a direct link between a woman's obesity during pregnancy and the premature death of her child in adulthood," the scientists concede. Numerous factors played a role in this. The children could "themselves be overweight because they had a genetic predisposition or were eating an unhealthy diet". This would have an impact on their health.

Women should aim for normal weight before pregnancy According to the study, 64 percent of women of childbearing age are overweight and 35 percent of them are even obese, according to the study. For comparison: According to the DEGS health study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 53 percent of women in Germany are overweight.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) points out further risks of being overweight during pregnancy. Accordingly, the mother's risk of developing gestational diabetes increases. Too much weight for the child could also increase the risk of developing asthma or becoming overweight. In addition, according to the DGE, congenital malformations of the child should be favored.

Society therefore advises all women who wish to have children to strive for normal weight before pregnancy. This includes a healthy and balanced diet and enough exercise. (ag)

Image: Dieter Sch├╝tz / pixelio.de

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