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High Sugar Levels In Mothers Can Risk Obesity In Child: Study

Lowering a mother's blood sugar during her pregnancy reduces the birth weight of the child.

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Pregnant Women
More complex data collection will paint a more complete picture. Pixabay

Babies born to woman with higher blood sugar levels during pregnancy could be at significantly greater long-term risk of obesity – even more than a decade later, a study has found.

The higher the woman’s blood sugar, the greater the risk of her child being obese.

The researchers suspect that epigenetic changes are likely to be influencing these long-term outcomes and those changes begin quite early in pregnancy.

Pregnancy
Maternal high blood sugar linked to obesity risk in kids Pixabay

“The mother’s blood sugar level during pregnancy is an independent contributor to the child’s weight and risk of being obese later in childhood,” said Boyd Metzger, professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

In addition, mothers with higher-than-normal blood sugar during pregnancy — even if not at the level of gestational diabetes — also were significantly more likely to have developed Type-2 diabetes a decade after pregnancy than their counterparts without high blood sugar, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal JAMA.

Lowering a mother’s blood sugar during her pregnancy reduces the birth weight of the child, as well as the risk of pre-eclampsia — potentially life-threatening condition in which the mother has high blood pressure that affects her and the baby.

Pregnancy
The higher the woman’s blood sugar, the greater the risk of her child being obese. Pixabay

If not regulated on time, these can potentially increase the number of women and children at risk of acquiring lifelong chronic medical conditions.

“The results are important because they demonstrate that even women with mild hyperglycemia during pregnancy and their offspring are at risk of harmful maternal and child health outcomes,” said coauthor Wendy Brickman, associate professor at Feinberg.

“Research is needed to identify interventions that will improve the health outcomes of these women and children,” Brickman said.

Also Read: Weight Loss Tip- Chinese Medicine Ingredient May Help Reduce Obesity

The study evaluated children 10 to 14 years after birth in 10 clinical centers in seven countries: the US, Canada, Israel, the UK, Hong Kong, Thailand and Barbados.

The study included 4,697 mothers and 4,832 children. (IANS)

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Researchers Identify Genes Causing Obesity

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

Researchers have identified genetic variants associated with obesity that is central to developing targeted interventions to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like hypertension, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found genetic sites that affect human body’s size and shape, including height and obesity. The findings will help understand how genes can predispose certain individuals to obesity.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers found 24 coding loci (or positions) — 15 common and nine rare — along chromosomes of individuals that predispose to higher waist-to-hip ratio.

Higher values of waist-to-hip ratio are associated with more incidence of diseases associated with obesity.

Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.

“For the first time, we were able to examine, on a large scale, how low-frequency and rare variants influence body fat distribution,” said North.

“A better understanding of the genetic underpinnings of body fat distribution may lead to better treatments for obesity and other downstream diseases obesity also impacts, for example Type-2 diabetes and heart disease,” suggested North.

Also Read- PM Narendra Modi Urges Youth to Stay Away From Drug Addiction as it Helps Anti-national Forces

Further analysis revealed pathways and gene sets that influenced not only metabolism but also regulation of body fat tissue, bone growth and adiponectin, a hormone that controls glucose levels and breaks down fat.

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species. (IANS)