Photo: AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Michael Zamora
Photo: AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Michael Zamora

Maternal obesity "increases risk of infant death"

New research indicates that babies born to pregnant women who are overweight have a greater risk of dying during their first year of life.

Stefan Johansson of the Karolinska Institute tells Swedish Radio News that there are three possible explanations: that such children tend to be born prematurely, that they are more likely to have birth defects, and that there are often more complications in connection with their births.

Around three in 1,000 Swedish babies die during their first year, one of the lowest figures in the world for infant mortality. But for mothers with body mass indexes of more than 35, the corresponding figure is 5.8, almost twice as high.

The research has been published in the British Medical Journal.

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