WEEKLY UPDATE: November 2, 2019
SUMMARY: Identification of 60 novel genetic variants associated with birth weight and correlated with later-life disease susceptibility.
OVERVIEW: Birth weight is influenced by the genetics of the mother and fetus, as well as environmental factors during pregnancy. To better understand the role of the foetal genome, this study analyzed the genomes of almost 154,000 individuals of European, African American, Chinese, Filipino, Surinamese, Turkish, and Moroccan ancestry. The study discovered 60 genetic variants associated with birth weight. Some of these genetic variants revealed a relationship between low birth weight and the development of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease later in life. Conversely, high birth weights showed a potential connection with obesity. Some of the discovered variants are near genes involved in our metabolism which indicates how these variants might influence birth weight.
DID YOU KNOW? During pregnancy, it’s recommended to exercise regularly, ensure sufficient vitamin intake (in particular folic acid and calcium), and to abstain from alcohol, smoking, and drugs. [SOURCE]
Why Birth Weight Matters