Birth weight of babies is influenced by genes that are also linked to the risk of developing a range of diseases later in life, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, research has revealed.
Scientists say that around a sixth of the variation in birth weight between babies is down to the baby’s genetics, with many of the genetic regions matching those linked to adult diseases and traits from high blood pressure to adult height.
The findings…strengthen the notion that it is not only environmental factors, such as nutrition of the fetus, that can affect a baby’s size and risk of developing conditions later in life.
“What we have been able to show is that genetics are playing an important role here,” said Mark McCarthy, [a researcher at the] University of Oxford.
With birth weight linked to the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease later in life, the researchers mapped the genetic variations found to affect birth weight to those linked to a variety of traits and health issues.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Birth weight influenced by genes linked to disease risk, study reveals