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Medical News & Perspectives
August 18, 2004

Maternal Diabetes and Obesity May Have Lifelong Impact on Health of Offspring

JAMA. 2004;292(7):789-790. doi:10.1001/jama.292.7.789

Vancouver—As the obesity epidemic unfolds on a global stage, two new groups of patients find themselves in the spotlight: pregnant women and their developing offspring. Recent research links maternal obesity as well as type 2 diabetes to a spectrum of abnormal conditions that occur during fetal development. Many of these effects, such as fetal obesity and neural tube defects, can have lifelong repercussions.

At the annual meeting of the Teratology Society held here in June, scientists discussed the latest findings on adverse pregnancy outcomes related to maternal obesity and diabetes. They also stressed the need for more research in these areas.