The warning signs of a potential epidemic in heart disease are becoming more evident, new research showing that moms who are very heavy during pregnancy may be saddling their children with more than just a few extra pounds.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the University of Aberdeen studied almost 38,000 children and their mothers using birth records that went back to the 1950s. What they compared were the levels of obesity, calculated using body mass index, and incidents of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

The children of mothers who were obese during pregnancy were about 35% more likely to die prematurely. Just under 30% had increased rates of cardiovascular health problems.

Researchers point out that the during the first years of the study, i.e. in the 1950s, only about 4% of the mothers were obese. That number, worldwide, has since increased dramatically, boding poorly for the health outlook of children today.

A video narrated by Rebecca Reynolds, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Edinburgh, detailing the study is below:

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