Obesity in pregnancy linked to heart disease in offspring

A new report has revealed that the children of obese mothers typically face an increased risk of premature death in adulthood due to heart disease.

Published this week in BMJ, the study used data from some 28,540 women who attended antenatal services in Aberdeen between 1950 and 2012, along with medical records of their 37,709 offspring.

The latter group, it discovered, were more likely to be admitted to hospital later in life due to cardiovascular events than those whose mothers' BMIs were normal during pregnancy.

In light of the publication, Dr Daghni Rajasingam - a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - said: "We know that obesity has a major impact on women's health and this paper highlights the need to prevent obesity in women of childbearing age and encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles."

She said that this could be done by encouraging these mothers to regularly undertake "moderate physical activity" and to "eat well".

Finally, Dr Rajasingham urged pregnant women to speak to their doctors or midwives if concerned about their weight.