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Maternal & nutritional influences on pediatric chronic disease

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
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  • Medicine


Children are experiencing unprecedented levels of obesity, potentially complicating coexisting chronic conditions. Approximately 35% of American youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) may also be overweight or obese. Although frequently associated with type 2 diabetes, excess weight is linked to heart disease and stroke, with negative implications for blood pressure that should not be ignored among T1D youth. Nearly 14% of these youth may already have [greater than or equal to] 2 risk factors present for cardiovascular disease. Herein, a review of maternal influences on pediatric obesity revealed breastfeeding as slightly protective, while maternal overweight and smoking increased the risk. Breastfeeding may also protect against high blood pressure, a leading cause of stroke. Among a sample of T1D youth, no association between infant diet and hypertension was observed; important study limitations are noted. Such knowledge may inform future studies aimed at increasing efficacy of T1D self-management and quality of life.

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