Maternal Obesity Linked To Increased Risk of Epilepsy in Offspring Interview with:
Neda Razaz-Vandyke, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Fellow
Reproductive Epidemiology Unit
Karolinska Institutet What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:   There is a growing concern about long-term neurological effects of prenatal exposure to maternal overweight and obesity.

The etiology of epilepsy is poorly understood and in more than 60% of cases no definitive cause can be determined. We found that maternal overweight and obesity increased the risks of childhood epilepsy in a dose-response pattern. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Given that overweight and obesity are potentially modifiable risk factors, prevention of obesity in women of reproductive age may be an important public health strategy to reduce the incidence of epilepsy. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: There is a need for studies on causality, underlying mechanisms, and effective interventions to reverse the epidemic of obesity in women of childbearing age. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Razaz N, Tedroff K, Villamor E, Cnattingius S. Maternal Body Mass Index in Early Pregnancy and Risk of Epilepsy in Offspring. JAMA Neurol. Published online April 03, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.6130

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Last Updated on April 6, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD