Got an Obese Mom? You May Die Earlier

Study finds those born to obese mothers more likely to die young

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2013 12:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bad news if your mother was obese or overweight while she was pregnant with you: You're more likely to die young, according to a new study. Researchers looked at health records for more than 37,000 people born in Scotland who are now between the ages of 34 and 61, and found that those born to obese women were 35% more likely to die before age 55, the BBC reports. They also had a 29% higher chance of experiencing heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular issues, USA Today reports.

The effects were more modest, but still increased, among those born to overweight women; the results held up regardless of the baby's weight at birth. The study is particularly important now, one OB/GYN explains, because obesity during pregnancy has increased 70% in the US over the past 10 years. But researchers aren't sure why the effect is seen. It could have something to do with genes, or with "overnourished" fetuses developing problems while in the womb. But there could be other factors as well, such as whether the babies grew to be overweight themselves or whether shared poor diets in childhood played a role, according to US News & World Report.

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