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loss surgery cuts risk of major birth defects

Posted by tetley at 2020-03-30
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Published: 2019-10-15 17:00 | Updated: 2019-10-16 07:10 Children born to women who underwent gastric bypass surgery before becoming pregnant had a lower risk of major birth defects than children born to women who had severe obesity at the start of their pregnancy. That’s according to a matched cohort study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Örebro University published in the scientific journal JAMA. The findings indicate that weight-loss and improved blood sugar control could reduce the risk of major birth defects. Martin Neovius, professor at the Department of Medicine in Solna, Karolinska Institutet. Photo: Kate Gabor. Obesity and poor blood sugar control have in previous studies been linked to an increased risk of health complications for both mothers and their infants. Other studies have shown that weight-loss surgery may increase the risk of various nutrient deficiencies, including iron and folate which are important for fetal development. There have been concerns dating back to the 1980s that bariatric surgery could increase the risk of major birth defects. In recent years, weight-loss surgery has increased significantly, and about 1.5 percent of all babies born in Sweden today are delivered by mothers who have had bariatric surgery. About 30 percent lower risk The current study shows, however, that the risk of major birth defects was about 30 percent lower in children of mothers who had gastric bypass surgery than in children of severely obese mothers. The risk of major defects was 3.4 percent in children born to women who had had gastric bypass surgery, which is in line with the risk of major defects in children born to normal weight women (3.5 percent). For women who at their first prenatal checkup had a body-mass index comparable to that of the gastric bypass patients’ pre-surgery weight, the risk of major birth defects was 4.9 percent. Olof Stephansson, obstetrician and senior researcher at the Department of Medicine in Solna, Karolinska Institutet. Photo: Mattias Ahlm. Lost 40 kilos The study was financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare. Publication “Association of Maternal Gastric Bypass Surgery with Offspring Birth Defects,”Martin Neovius, Björn Pasternak, Kari Johansson, Ingmar Näslund, Olof StephanssonJAMA, October 15, 2019, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.12925