Edinburgh: A team of researchers have found that children of obese mothers are at an increased risk of dying early as adults due to cardiac diseases.
The experts said the findings highlight the urgent need for strategies to prevent obesity in women of childbearing age, and the need to assess the offspring of obese mothers for their cardiovascular risk.
Rates of maternal obesity have risen rapidly in the past two decades. In the US, about 64 percent of women of reproductive age are overweight and 35 percent are obese, with a similar pattern in Europe, reported Science Daily.
Many studies have shown a link between maternal obesity and disease later in life, but it is still not clear whether maternal obesity is associated with death in offspring from cardiovascular causes.
With rising rates of excess weight among pregnant women, the authors said their findings are "a major public health concern".
They said the findings indicate that the offspring of obese mothers are a high risk group who should be assessed for cardiovascular risk, and actively encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"As one in five women in Britain is currently obese at antenatal booking, strategies to optimise weight before pregnancy are urgently required," they said.