High lead levels during pregnancy linked to child obesity : study

Health News

Folic
acid may lower risk of being obese or overweight.

New Delhi,
04th October 2019 : Children born to women who have high blood
levels of lead are more likely be overweight or obese, compared to those whose
mothers have low levels of lead in their blood, according to a study funded by
the National Institutes of Health and Health Resources and Services
Administration.

The study
was conducted by Xiaobin Wang, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of
Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues. It appears in JAMA Network Open.

1,442
mother-child pairs data were analysed

Researchers analysed
data on 1,442 mother-child pairs from the Boston Birth Cohort, a large
observational study that aims to determine the causes of preterm birth.

Mothers’
blood samples were analysed for lead exposure 24 to 72 hours after they gave
birth. Children had their weight assessed periodically throughout childhood. At
an average age of 8.1 years, children born to mothers with high lead levels
were more than four times as likely to be overweight or obese than children
born to mothers with low lead levels.

Among women
who had high lead levels, the risk of their children being obese or overweight
decreased if the women had adequate levels of folate 24 to 72 hours after
giving birth. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all women
of reproductive age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid (the synthetic form of
folate) each day to help prevent neural tube defects, a class of birth defects
affecting the brain and spine.

Women in the
study had earlier responded to a questionnaire indicating whether they had
taken a supplement containing folic acid in the second and third trimesters of
pregnancy. The authors note that if their results are confirmed, testing
pregnant women for lead exposure and then offering folic acid to those who have
high levels could potentially reduce their children’s risk of being overweight
or obese.

Lead
exposure during pregnancy may have harmful effects on mother and baby

NIH funding
was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development and the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences.

Lead
exposure during pregnancy also may have harmful effects on mother and baby. The
U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice on how pregnant
women can reduce their exposure to lead.

Eunice
Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
(NICHD):

NICHD
conducts and supports research in the United States and throughout the world on
fetal, infant and child development; maternal, child and family health;
reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation.

About the
National Institutes of Health (NIH):

NIH, the USA’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centres and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

ताजा समाचार/आलेख

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