The rate of obesity for the human population has shown to be increased expeditiously in the past decades. It has continuously raised health concerns among the world, and is likely to remain in times to come. This phenomenon is primarily due to the lifestyle changes resulting in high-energy intake coupling with decreased physical activity (Cameron et al. 2003).
Obesity is identified by the high adipose tissue, resulting in the body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30kg/m. The high BMI is responsible for many cardiovascular diseases (CVD), considered as a major contributing risk factor.
Figure 1. Prevalence of obesity at first prenatal visit from 1980 to 1999 (Lu et al. 2001).
Maternal obesity has also substantially increased in response to the general expansion of body mass index (BMI) (Kim et al. 2007). Pre-pregnancy obesity significantly ascended between 1980 and 2000, and presents a rising pattern in the future years (Fig.1). Obesity during pregnancy induces unfavourable outcomes later in life for both mother and fetuses, lead to changes in physiology and metabolism of the women and offspring. In consequence, it does not only cause maternal diseases but also expose the next generation with an increased risk of disease development. This review specifically examines the impact of maternal obesity on fetuses by further validating the association of obesity during pregnancy in causing offspring cardiovascular and metabolic disorders (MD), as a result to gain prevention strategies to improve fetal health. Both human studies and animal models are observed in order to investigate the relationship of maternal obesity and the risk of dev...
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...ascular and metabolic disorders
The ultimate goal in researching maternal obesity is for therapeutic purposes to reduce mutable risk factors of CVD, thus improve cardiometabolic health in the future generation. Prevention strategies of CVD, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity or lowering calorie intake all provide signs of improvement to reduce the chance of maternal obesity. No complete recovery can be made once the development of CVD in offspring, only the reduction of risk factors can be made. Therefore, in order to provide the next generation with a minimum disposing risk factor of CVD, the predominant strategy is to lower the possibility of obesity during pregnancy. Consequently, reducing the population distribution of cardiovascular disease, as well as inducing a better cardiometabolic health for the offspring.
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