October 28, 2016
The higher a pre-pregnant woman’s BMI, the more likely her baby will have shorter telomere length, according to research published in BMC Medicine.
"Prior to our study, there was no evidence of an association between pre-pregnancy BMI and newborn telomere length, although meta-analyses suggest an association between BMI and telomere length in adults,” Tim S. Nawrot, PhD, department of public health and primary care, Leuven University, Belgium, said in a press release. “Our results add to the growing body of evidence that high maternal BMI impacts fetal programming, which could lead to altered fetal development and later life diseases. The public health impact of our findings is considerable as in affluent societies about 30% of women of reproductive age are overweight."