Health TrendsMaternal and Child Health

Mother’s genes independently influence birth weight

While both parents contribute equally to the genetic make up of a baby, the mother's genes independently influence birth weight, according to a study of over 230,000 mothers. Birth weight is a good predictor of long-term health because babies who are in the extremes of birth weight (i.e., too heavy or too small) have a lower chance of survival and a higher risk of metabolic diseases later in life. This study found that the baby's genes (obtained from both the mother and father) and the mother's own genes separately influence birth weight.

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