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Thursday 27th October 2016

Drug trial for pregnant women

9th May 2011

A health service trial plans to provide obese pregnant women with the drug metformin to lessen the danger of their children becoming obese.


Women who are overweight supply too much food to their unborn children and give birth to larger babies, which can cause problems for them both.

Doctors are keen to treat this with the drug metaformin, which is used in the treatment of diabetes.

The researchers who are heading the study said 15% of pregnant women who came to hospitals in the UK were obese.

Obesity can heighten the risk of a pregnant woman dying, increases the danger of pre-eclampsia and of stillbirth or large babies.

Large babies are more likely to become obese when they are older. It is believed that obese pregnant women have a higher resistance to the hormone insulin, which stops blood sugar levels from increasing too much.

The drug metformin, which doctors want to use in the test, lessens insulin resistance.

The doctors are hoping that the drug will decrease the amount of sugar being transferred to the baby so it will be born a normal weight.

There are 400 women taking part in the trial.

Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said: "It's intriguing and sadly it's necessary to look at."

"In an ideal world you would want women to take stock of their weight before pregnancy, but in reality that's not going to happen."


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