Washington: A new study has found first signs of heart disease in babies born to mums who are overweight or obese.The walls of the body`s major artery - the aorta - are already thickened in newborns of overweight or obese mums, the study found.Importantly, this arterial thickening, which is a sign of heart disease, is independent of the child`s weight at birth - a known risk factor for later heart disease and stroke.And it may explain how overweight/obese mums could boost their children`s subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease, suggest the researchers, who point out that more than half of women of childbearing age in developed countries are overweight or obese.Twenty three women, whose average age was 35, were included in the study when they were 16 weeks pregnant. A body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 kg/m2 was defined as overweight or obese, and this ranged from 17 to 42 kg/m2 among the women.Ten of the babies born were boys, and birthweights ranged from 1850g to 4310g.The abdominal aorta, which is the section of the artery extending down to the belly, was scanned in each newborn within seven days of birth to find out the thickness of the two innermost walls - the intima and media.
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