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OnMedica – News – Risks of major birth defects greater if mother is overweight

Women must be inspired to acquire a traditional physique weight earlier than conception, researchers say

Ingrid Torejsen

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Risks of major birth defects (congenital malformations) through the first yr of life progressively improve with a mother’s overweight and weight problems severity, exhibits a study* revealed by The BMJ.

While it was already recognized that maternal weight problems will increase dangers of congenital malformations, whether or not the dangers have been elevated in offspring of overweight moms and have been greater with extra extreme weight problems was unclear, so researchers on the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, got down to examine whether or not dangers of major congenital malformations improve with severity of weight problems in moms.

They analysed info on greater than 1.2 million reside singleton births in Sweden recorded within the medical birth register between 2001 and 2014. Mothers have been outlined as underweight if that they had  a physique mass index (BMI) of lower than 18.5, of regular weight if their BMI was 18.5 to 24, overweight if their BMI was 25 to 29 and overweight if their BMI was greater than 30. Obesity was cut up into three courses:  I (BMI 30 to 34), II (BMI 35 to 39), and III (BMI 40 or over).

A complete of 43,550 (three.5%) offspring had any major congenital malformation. Heart defects have been the most typical, adopted by defects of the genital organs, limbs, urinary system, digestive system, and nervous system.

Compared with offspring of regular weight moms (danger of malformations three.four%), the proportions of any major congenital malformation among the many offspring of moms with greater BMI have been: overweight, three.5%; weight problems class I, three.eight%, weight problems class II, four.2% and weight problems class III, four.7%. The dangers of congenital coronary heart defects, malformations of the nervous system, and limb defects additionally progressively elevated with BMI from overweight to weight problems class III.

The general danger of any major congenital malformation was greater in boys (four.1%) than in women (2.eight%).

The researchers stated that their outcomes “underline the importance of having a maternal BMI in the normal range before pregnancy” and conclude that “efforts should be made to encourage women of reproductive age to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to obtain a normal body weight before conception.”

* Persson M, Cnattingius S, Villamor E, et al. Risk of major congenital malformations in relation to maternal overweight and weight problems severity: cohort research of 1.2 million singletons. BMJ 2017;357:j2563. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j2563

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