African babies at risk from mothers’ obesity

UK researchers analysed data on more than 81,000 pregnancies in 27 African countries, finding babies of obese mothers had a 50% greater chance of dying in the first four weeks of life compared to those born to women of optimum weight.

“This is the first time maternal obesity has been recognised as a risk factor in this setting. We now need more research to confirm the exact causes of death for these babies and a strategy to educate women,” the authors wrote.
The Lancet 2012; online 9 August

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