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Maternal obesity may cause seizures, palsies in offspring: Israeli research

JERUSALEM, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — Israeli researchers found that maternal obesity can cause neuropsychiatric issues, such as seizures, palsies and depression, in their offspring, Ben-Gurion University (BGU) reported on Monday.

Other common neuropsychiatric disorders that can be caused by mother’s obesity include attention and cognitive deficit disorders, uncontrolled anger, migraine headaches, addictions, eating disorders and anxiety.

Obesity during pregnancy is a known risk factor for adverse maternal, fetal and offspring outcomes.

It is also associated with future cardiovascular morbidity, ophthalmic complications, and even malignancies such as ovarian and breast cancer in the offspring.

In a study published in the journal Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, researchers from BGU and Soroka Medical Center, both located in the southern city of Beer Sheva, examined the long-term effects of maternal obesity on neuropsychiatric health aspects of the offspring up to the age of 18.

The retrospective cohort study compared the delivery outcomes of obese versus non-obese mothers.

It covered 242,342 deliveries between 1991 and 2014 at Soroka hospital, of which 3,290 were children of obese mothers.

It was found that compared with children born by non-obese mothers, those by obese mothers had a higher rate of neuropsychiatric-related hospitalizations, with specific illnesses being more prevalent, including autism sector disorders and other psychiatric issues.

“It is therefore of great importance to consult, educate and take other measures of intervention to reduce pre-pregnancy obesity,” the researchers concluded.

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