Increased Offspring BMI Tied to Metformin Exposure In Utero

Findings among children of women with polycystic ovary syndrome on metformin during pregnancy
Findings among children of women with polycystic ovary syndrome on metformin during pregnancy

HealthDay News — Children exposed to metformin in utero have an increased risk of being overweight at age 4 years, according to research published online February 27 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Liv Guro Engen Hanem, MD, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues conducted follow-up to two randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies exploring the effects of metformin use on 182 offspring of pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Children's growth was assessed to 4 years of age. Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and overweight/obesity at age 4, and head circumference were converted to z-scores. 

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The researchers found that at age 4 years there was a non-significant difference in height z-scores between children of women randomized to placebo and those randomized to metformin. However, at 4 years of age, the metformin group had a higher weight z-score than the placebo group (P=0.017) and a higher BMI z-score (P=0.010). In the metformin group, there were more overweight/obese children compared to the placebo group (P=0.038).

"Metformin exposed children had higher BMI and increased prevalence of overweight/obesity at 4 years of age," the authors write.

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