INTERNATIONAL

Maternal vitamin C treatment cuts babies’ risk of heart disease

LondonMaternal treatment with vitamin C antioxidant during a complicated pregnancy could protect the baby from developing hypertension and heart disease in adulthood, suggests a study.

Heart disease is the greatest killer in the world today, and it is widely accepted that our genes interact with traditional lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, obesity and/or a sedentary life to promote an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, a new study on sheep by a team from Cambridge University finds that babies born from pregnancies complicated by chronic hypoxia have increased indicators of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure and stiffer blood vessels.

Chronic hypoxia or lower-than-normal oxygen levels in the developing baby within the womb is one of the most common outcomes of complicated pregnancy in humans. It occurs as a result of problems within the placenta, as can occur in preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or maternal smoking.

“Our discoveries emphasize that when considering strategies to reduce the overall burden of heart disease, much greater attention to prevention rather than treatment is required,” said lead researcher Dino Giussani, Professor from the varsity. (IANS)

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