Obesity and gestational diabetes independently and collectively induce specific effects on placental structure, inflammation and endocrine function in a cohort of South African women
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During pregnancy, obesity and gestational diabetes in the mother — both separately and together — affect the placenta and the health of mother and child.
Rates of both obesity and diabetes are on the rise globally, but studies that look at their impact during pregnancy tend to focus on wealthy countries.
Now, a team led by researchers from the University of Cape Town has investigated how they affected the placentas and pregnancy outcomes of 71 black or mixed-ancestry women in South Africa.
They found that maternal obesity and gestational diabetes had specific effects on the production of hormones and inflammation markers. The team also discovered that obesity had a greater effect on placenta formation and structure than diabetes. Furthermore, these changes to the placenta adversely affected the health of both mother and child.
These findings could help develop treatments that target the placenta for improving pregnancy outcomes, the researchers say.
- Journal of Physiology 601, 1287–1306 (2023). doi: 10.1113/jp284139
|University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa||0.58|
|University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK)||0.33|
|Kaduna State University (KASU), Nigeria||0.08|