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Mother’s height may determine the duration of gestation, baby’s length and height

Posted:  Friday, August 28, 2015

The saying ‘like mother like offspring’ can be taken literally now. A recent study has found that mothers with short height tend to give birth earlier to smaller and lighter offspring.

The study evaluated almost 3,500 women and the results were published in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine. The researchers observed a unique equation; for every extra centimetre increase in a mother’s height, there was an increase in her baby’s length by 0.05 centimetres, weight by 10 grams and gestational age by 0.34 days.

Although these findings indicate a strong genetic link, womb conditions which are dictated by a mother’s height could also be a strong influence. Discussing the study findings, the lead researcher said, “The explanation for why this happens is unclear but could depend not only on unknown genes but also on a woman’s lifetime of nutrition and her environment.”

These findings pave a path for unravelling genetic mechanisms to better understand how various maternal factors affect the progeny.

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