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Overweight mother’s babies at risk for breathing problems

Overweight mothers’ babies at risk for breathing problems

Babies born to overweight and obese mother may be more likely to have low oxygen levels at birth, which could lead to other complications, a Swedish study has found.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm analyzed registry data of more than 1.7 million live single births between 1992 and 2010 in Sweden, including information on the mothers’ height and weight early in pregnancy, babies’ Apgar scores, and any medical problems noted at birth.

The heavier the mother, the higher the risk of breathing problems and other complications for her newborn, the study found. Babies with overweight mothers were 32 percent more likely to have an Apgar score between zero and three in the first 10 minutes after birth — a signal of low oxygen levels — compared with babies of normal-weight mothers. Babies of obese mothers were 57 percent more likely to have a baby with a low Apgar score.


Babies born to morbidly obese mothers were twice as likely to have a seizure compared to those born to normal-weight mothers.

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BOTTOM LINE: Babies born to overweight mothers may be more likely to be oxygen-deprived at birth.

CAUTIONS: Fewer than 1 in 1,000 babies in the study had an Apgar score below three, suggesting the overall risk for breathing problems is low. The study did not look at whether babies with low Apgar scores had longer-term complications.


Physical therapy doesn’t help ease
hip osteoarthritis

Physical therapy does not reduce pain or improve physical function in some adults with hip osteoarthritis, according to a new study.


Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia randomized 102 adults over age 50 suffering from severe pain from hip osteoarthritis into two groups: One group was assigned to attend 10 sessions over three months that included education and advice, manual therapy, home exercise, and assistance walking; the other received a sham form of treatment. For six months afterward, those in the treatment group continued home exercise, while the sham group was given a placebo gel to apply to the affected hip.

The researchers followed up with both groups at three months and nine months and found that those who received treatment were no more likely to have lower pain scores or higher physical function scores compared with those who received sham treatment.

Forty-one percent of participants in the treatment group reported mild adverse effects, which included hip, back, or neck stiffness, compared with 14 percent in the sham group.

BOTTOM LINE: Physical therapy does not relieve pain or improve function in some adults with hip osteoarthritis.

CAUTIONS: The therapists in the study knew which treatment group the participants were in. Two researchers received royalties from the sports footwear company ASICS Oceania, which makes shoe inserts for people with osteoarthritis.