ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
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Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems

(HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese women are more likely to give birth to babies with heart defects, a new study has found.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers analyzed data on 6,440 infants with congenital heart defects and 5,673 infants without heart defects whose mothers took part in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

Women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy were about 18 percent more likely than normal weight women to have a baby with certain kinds of heart defects, including obstructive defects on the right side of the heart and defects in the tissue that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. Severely obese women had a 30 percent increased risk compared to normal weight women, the study authors noted.

In reaching their findings, the researchers accounted for several important heart defect factors, including the mother's age and race/ethnicity. Women with diabetes before they became pregnant were excluded because diabetes in the mother is a strong risk factor for infant heart defects.

The study was published online Oct. 1 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"These results support previous studies, as well as provide additional evidence, that there is an association between a woman being overweight or obese before pregnancy and certain types of heart defects," primary study author Suzanne Gilboa, an epidemiologist at CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in an agency news release.

"This provides another reason for women to maintain a healthy weight. In addition to the impact on a woman's own health and the known pregnancy complications associated with maternal obesity, the baby's health could be at risk," Gilboa added.

"Congenital heart defects are the most common types of birth defect, and among all birth defects, they are a leading cause of illness, death, and medical expenditures," Dr. Edwin Trevathan, director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in the news release. "Women who are obese and who are planning a pregnancy could benefit by working with their physicians to achieve a healthy weight before pregnancy."

The study is the largest effort ever undertaken in the United States to identify risk factors for birth defects, the CDC said.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Oct. 1, 2009 Published on: October 01, 2009