Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Why Teenage Mums Are At Risk Of Having Low Birthweight Babies

20.09.2007
The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. In Scotland, one in ten babies are born to a teenage mother. Teenage pregnancies are associated with increased risks of poor pregnancy outcome for both the mother and her newborn.

Scientists in Aberdeen have been studying the problems of these teenage pregnancies using adolescent sheep as a model. They have shown that if adolescent sheep become pregnant while they are still growing, the nutrient supply from the mother to the fetus is reduced. This means that the lamb may not develop normally and will be very small at birth.

These studies have implications for managing the pregnancies of the high numbers of teenagers worldwide who are becoming pregnant before they have stopped growing.

Dr Jacqueline Wallace at Aberdeen’s Rowett Research Institute who led the research said: “Our studies show that there is competition for nutrients between a mother and her developing offspring when the mother herself is still growing, and that it is the newborn who comes off worse in this situation. It follows that formulating correct dietary advice for teenage girls is likely to be complex, particularly if the mother is still growing. We suggest that assessments of growth and nutritional status at the time of conception and at mid-pregnancy, and the use of ultrasound to detect whether placental growth and function has been affected, may prove beneficial in the optimal management of teenage pregnancies,” said Dr Wallace.

Dr Wallace originally showed that overfeeding adolescent ewes during pregnancy to mimic rapid maternal growth in humans promoted the growth of the mother at the expense of the fetus. The reduction in fetal size occurred because the growth of the placenta was impaired and resulted in premature delivery of low birth weight lambs. Recent studies have focused on limiting the food intake of adolescent ewes during pregnancy to prevent maternal growth. This also reduced the nutrient supply to the fetus and slowed its growth. They also found that a change in the development of the blood vessels which supply nutrients to the womb and to the placenta may be a possible cause of the restricted growth of the fetus of these underfed adolescent sheep.

“Worryingly, we also found that these harmful effects on the growth of the fetus of undernourished adolescent ewes could only be partly reversed by returning the pregnant ewes to an optimal diet later on in their pregnancies. We believe that our research highlights the importance of ensuring that pregnant teenage girls gain adequate, but not excessive amounts of weight, especially during the early stages of their pregnancy when the placenta is formed” said Dr Wallace.

“The problems associated with being an adolescent or teenage mother are particularly serious when mothers are under sixteen years of age and hence still potentially growing. For these very young mothers, the risk of having a low birth weight baby is doubled. There is also an increased risk of a premature birth, infant mortality and maternal death due to obstetrical complications,” said Dr Wallace.

Professor Peter Morgan, Director of the Rowett Research Institute said 'The implications of this research are particularly relevant in the light of the current interest and priority given to health inequalities in the UK.”

The recent research was conducted in collaboration with colleagues at North Dakota State University and was funded by the National Institutes of Health, USA and the Scottish Government. The research was published in a recent edition of Biology of Reproduction and was been singled out by the Editors of the journal for a feature in the highlights section because of the calibre of the research findings.

Sue Bird | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rowett.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>