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Maternal Obesity Increases Risk of Childhood Asthma

Researchers from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) found that the risk of wheezing during a baby’s first 14 months of life is four times greater if their mothers were obesity compared to children of mothers with normal weight.

The study, which was published in the Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology analyzed data of more than 1,107 mother and child pairs from the INMA project, a Spanish study on infancy and environment. The results showed an association between maternal obesity and wheezing regardless of the child’s weight and other factors such as the mother’s age, education, and health habits.

Stefano Guerra, lead author of the study states that the independent relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy weight and wheezing in their children adds to growing evidence on the effects of environmental exposure to asthma-related phenotypes. It also suggests that there are benefits to women losing excess weight before pregnancy.

Frequent wheezing is a symptom associated with asthma during infancy that manifests as whistling sounds produced when breathing. Wheezing occurs due to tightness of airways, which are inflamed. It can begin as a mild change in breathing and can worsen during the night. It can also occur when exposed to cold air or during exercise.

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide. It is reported that 52% of these cases are not diagnosed and 47% of those affected do not have a good control over the disease.

According to statistics from the Spanish Guide to Handling Asthma (GEMA), although the mortality rate from asthma has decline since 1960 to 2005, its prevalence in Spain has increased during the same period.


Plataforma SINC. Maternal obesity increases the risk of frequent wheezing in offspring. ScienceDaily.

Posted in: Asthma, News Briefs, Obesity

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