Children born to obese mothers are up to 57 percent more likely to get cancer, according to new Investigation.
The researchers, who have analyzed more than 2 million births and 3,000 cancer cases in Pennsylvania, believe that insulin disturbances at crucial points in fetal development can cause dangerous cell changes that lead to years of illness years later.
The connection is so strong, they said, that it should deter any expectant mother from fast food and too much sugar, which could derail her insulin regulation.
"We currently do not know many preventable risk factors for childhood cancer", said lead author Dr. Shaina Stacy, an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh.
& # 39; I hope this study can be powerful in some way and also motivating for weight loss. & # 39;
Children born to severely obese mothers – with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 – had a 57 percent higher risk of leukemia before the age of five
Her team searched pioneers and registered cancer registration records in the state of Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2016.
They discovered that children born to severely obese mothers – with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 – had a 57 percent higher risk of leukemia before the age of five.
This decreases steadily as the mother's BMI decreases, which means that shortening hamburgers, cakes and fries during pregnancy can save the life of a child.
Dr. Stacy said: & # 39; It is not our intention to make women feel ashamed or guilty.
& # 39; But instead, we hope these findings point to another reason for weight loss. & # 39;
She said they are important because there are not many known avoidable risk factors for childhood cancer.
Dr. Stacy said: & # 39; This is hopefully an avoidable risk factor, and it's healthy for both mothers and children. & # 39;
In addition, weight and height were individually linked – indicating that babies of larger or larger mothers are more prone.
The results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, were based on pre-pregnancy BMI in mothers and subsequent cancer diagnosis in their offspring.
They took into account other known risk factors for childhood cancer, such as the size of the newborn and the age of the mother.
The further analysis showed that not only larger women gave birth to older children or that heavier women were usually older.
Instead, the size of a mother independently contributed to the risk of her child – that she can control herself.
The researchers don't know why there is such a significant association between maternal obesity and childhood cancer, but they have a number of theories.
Dr. Stacy said: & # 39; We can speculate that it might have something to do with disturbances in insulin levels in the mother's body during fetal development, or that the mother's DNA expression somehow could be changed and passed on to her offspring. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; But we would need additional studies to discover why that might be the case. & # 39;
It is crucial that not all levels of obesity entail the same risk. Among the obese women there was a higher BMI with a greater cancer prevalence in their children.
Dr. Stacy said: "So even small amounts of weight loss can translate into a true reduction in risk."
Senior author professor Jian-Min Yuan, co-leader of a prevention program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, added: “We are dealing with an obesity epidemic in this country.
& # 39; From a preventive point of view, maintaining a healthy weight is not only good for the mother, but also for the children. & # 39;
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