A baby’s risk of epilepsy is said to increase the higher a mom-to-be’s BMI is, according to a study.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures and, according to the CDC, about 5.1 million people in the United States have had a diagnosis of epilepsy or seizure disorder.
Of the millions diagnosed, about 750,000 are between the ages of 0-17 years old.
The study published in the journal JAMA Neurology found that if a pregnant woman is severely obese the risk of her child developing epilepsy is 82 percent higher than if she were not obese.
“Pregnancy is already an inflammatory state, and so is obesity. When you add those two together, a lot of bad things can happen,” explains Dr. William Bell, a neurologist with Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, according to WebMD. Dr. Bell wrote an op-ed that accompanied the study.
The study concluded that there is an 11 percent increased risk if a woman is overweight, whereas if a woman is obese the risk increases to anywhere between 20-82 percent.
The study focused on babies born in Sweden between 1997 and 2011. Of the 1.4 million babies whose medical data were reviewed, more than 7,500 were diagnosed with epilepsy.