MONDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Teens of mothers who were
overweight or obese when they became pregnant may be at increased
risk for asthma symptoms, according to a new study.
It included nearly 7,000 teens aged 15 and 16 who were born in
northern Finland between July 1985 and June 1986. The researchers
also looked at health information collected from the teens'
mothers, including height and weight before pregnancy.
About 10 percent of the teens had wheezing, about 20 percent had
wheezing at some point, 6 percent had asthma and 10 percent had
asthma at some point. After accounting for a number of other
factors, the researchers found that a mother's weight before she
became pregnant had a strong effect on a teen's wheeze/asthma
Teens were 20 to 30 percent more likely to wheeze/have a history
of wheezing, or to have asthma or a history of asthma, if their
mothers were seriously overweight or obese before pregnancy.
Every excess kilogram (1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs) of weight on the
mother at pregnancy was linked with a 2.7 to 3.5 percent increased
risk of wheeze and asthma among teens, the researchers from
Imperial College London calculated.
And after other factors were accounted for, teens with the
heaviest mothers had a 47 percent increased risk of severe
The study appears online in the
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The hormonal and metabolic effects of being overweight during
pregnancy may interfere with normal fetal development, including
the lungs, the researchers suggested.
The March of Dimes has more about
obesity and pregnancy.