Targeting metabolic health promotion to optimise maternal and offspring health

Niamh-Maire Mclennan, Jonathan Hazlehurst, Shakila Thangaratinam, Rebecca M Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is an increase in maternal metabolic burden due to the rise in pregnancies complicated by obesity, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. Metabolic dysfunction during pregnancy is associated with increased risks of long-term morbidity and mortality for women and their offspring. Lifestyle interventions in pregnancy in women at risk of metabolic dysfunction, have demonstrated short term improvements such as reduced gestational weight gain and lowered risk of gestational diabetes. It is not known if these interventions lead to sustained improvements in the metabolic health of the mother and baby. Pharmacological interventions have also shown benefits for the mother and baby in pregnancy, including improvements in glycaemic control, reduced gestational weight gain and reduction in large for gestational age infants however, there remains uncertainty over long term outcomes for mother and child. Existing studies on interventions targeting metabolic health is limited to selected populations in the preconception and postpartum periods and lack follow-up beyond delivery of the intervention. The COVID-19 pandemic has refocused our attention on the effects maternal metabolic ill health plays in contributing to premature morbidity and mortality. There is an urgent need for strategies to accurately identify the growing number of women and offspring at risk of long-term adverse metabolic health. Strategies which focus on early identification and risk stratification using individualised risk scores in the pre and inter-conception periods must take priority if we are to target and improve the metabolic health of women and their offspring who are at highest risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R113-R126
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2022


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