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Mother’s obesity boosts risk for major birth defects: study

PARIS: Children of obese women are more likely to be afflicted by major birth defects, including malformations of the heart, according to a study published on Thursday. The fatter the mother, the higher the risk, it found. "We found that risks of major congenital malformations in offspring progressively increase with maternal overweight and severity of obesity," researchers wrote in The BMJ medical journal. "Thus, efforts should be made to encourage women of reproductive age to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to…

Even ‘mild’ heart defects may affect kids’ school performance

NEW YORK: Children born with heart defects, even minor ones, perform worse than other kids on third-grade reading and math tests, a new study finds. “While it was not surprising to see this finding in children with severe heart defects, it was a surprise to see that children with heart defects that are often considered mild may likewise have challenges in school,” lead author Dr. Matthew Oster from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta told Reuters Health. “Parents and teachers should be aware that children…