Mothers who fail to lose their baby weight within a year of giving birth have a much greater risk of diabetes and heart trouble, according to a new study.The study adds to the already established theory that not losing baby weight for several years after pregnancy carries long term health risks like heart disease and diabetes.
Scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, decided to test the theory by tracking risk factors in the first 12 months after giving birth. The research was conducted at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, where researchers have evidence that could confirm the link between weight gain after pregnancy and diabetes.The researchers followed more than 300 patients throughout their pregnancy and the year following birth. They found that three-quarters of the women lost at least some of their baby weight after a year and were found to have healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. But the quarter of the women studied that gained weight in that year showed a clear increase in risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The study provides direct evidence to support the theory that failure to lose ‘baby weight’ carries long-term implications for diabetes and heart disease risks. Study leader Doctor Ravi Retnakaran, an endocrinologist and Associate Professor at Toronto University, said: ‘This finding helps us advise women about the importance of losing their excess pregnancy weight in the first year after delivery.
‘With these results, we can say that failure to lose weight between three and 12 months postpartum will cause blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin action in the body to move in an unhealthy direction.’
Most women who gain weight during pregnancy lose it in the months after they give birth, but the women who don’t run a higher risk of getting diabetes due to an increase in cholesterol and higher blood pressure. The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that the elevated risk factors seen 12 months after giving birth had not been present at three months after giving birth. Dr Retnakaran said: ‘That means that the nine-month window leading up to one year after birth is a critical time for women to ensure that they are losing at least some of their pregnancy weight.’ The study is the first to follow mothers’ weight patterns for the first year after giving birth and check them against the full slate of metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors. Lead author Simone Kew, of the Leadership Sinai Diabetes Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, said: ‘These findings warrant further research, because doctors will want to know which interventions to suggest to women to help them maintain healthy weight patterns during this critical first year after delivery.’ She said future research will include tracking weight against metabolic risk factors for two or three years.
via Daily Mail