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Jun 21, 2021
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Maternal obesity before conception doubles the baby’s risk of fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat accumulates in the cells of the organ. Often this disease is accompanied by metabolic and cardiovascular disorders: obesity or overweight, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension. In the absence of timely therapy and lifestyle correction, NAFLD can lead to scarring of liver tissue – fibrosis, and subsequently to cirrhosis and liver cancer. According to the latest data, this disease affects up to 37.3% of the adult population of Russia.

National Health Service scientists have conducted the largest study on the risk of developing NAFLD, the results of which will be presented at the International Congress on Liver Disease in 2021, The Guardian reported. Experts studied the results of liver fibroscopy of about 3 thousand people in England, who participated in the long-term study “Children of the 90s”, which studies the health of people born during this period.

After adjusting the data for a variety of factors, including parental age, bad habits and family social status, the researchers found that maternal obesity before pregnancy more than doubles the risk of developing NAFLD in children by age 24.

Experts noted that a high father’s BMI also increases this likelihood, but to a lesser extent. According to scientists, the influence of intrauterine development is much greater.

“Our research has shown that obesity in the mother causes the so-called early life effect, which causes the development of fatty liver in the unborn child, making him vulnerable to harmful effects, including unhealthy diets. This increases the risk of developing fatty liver disease in the future, ”the study authors said.


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