FRIDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple pregnancies may
increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and the buildup of plaque in
the arteries, suggests new research in mice.
Scientists from the University of Cincinnati and colleagues
studied mice late in gestation in either their first or fourth
pregnancy. Those in their fourth pregnancy had severe glucose
intolerance and excess fat tissue, while those in their first
pregnancy did not have glucose intolerance and had less fat.
In addition, the fat tissue in mice in their fourth pregnancy
had significant increases in several inflammation-causing chemicals
called cytokines and an accumulation of inflammation-related white
blood cells called macrophages.
Repeated cytokine fluctuations during pregnancy may cause
residual inflammation that affects cardiovascular health, according
to the study.
If such changes also occur in humans, women who have multiple
pregnancies may be at increased risk for plaque buildup in the
arteries, obesity and diabetes, the researchers concluded.
The study was slated to be presented Friday at the American
Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular
Biology 2011 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The March of Dimes outlines steps for a