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Maternal Bariatric Surgery Tied to Less Offspring Obesity

Surgery also linked to improvements in cardio-metabolic markers in their children

THURSDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery in women before pregnancy helps reduce the risk of childhood obesity and improve cardio-metabolic markers in their offspring by improving the intrauterine environment, according to a study in the October issue of Endocrinology.

J. Smith, of the Centre de Recherche Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et Pneumologie de Quebec, and colleagues conducted a study of 49 mothers and their 111 children aged 2.5 to 26 years. The mothers had sustained 36 percent weight loss for 12 years and, while 54 of the children were born before maternal biliopancreatic diversion bariatric surgery, 57 were born after maternal surgery.

The average birth weight of children born after bariatric surgery was 2.9 kg, compared with 3.3 kg for those born before, and macrosomia prevalence was only 1.8 versus 14.8 percent, the researchers found. Severe obesity was substantially lower among the babies born after surgery, at 11 percent versus 35 percent for those born before, and they had a better lipid profile, lower levels of C-reactive protein and leptin, as well as increased ghrelin, the investigators discovered.

"By reducing the exposure of fetuses to an obesigenic in utero environment there is a dramatic decrease in the presence of severe obesity and accompanying metabolic disturbances in children," the authors write.

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