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Stress during pregnancy can affect later generations: Study

Written by: QMI AGENCY
Aug. 7, 2014

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A new Canadian study suggests stress during pregnancy can affect a woman's granddaughters.

Using rats, the researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta found daughters of stressed mothers had shorter pregnancies and had higher glucose levels than the control group.

As well, granddaughters also had the same experience, even if their own mothers weren't stressed out during their pregnancy.

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"A surprising finding was that mild to moderate stress during pregnancy had a compounding effect across generations. Thus, the effects of stress grew larger with each generation," senior study author Gerlinde Metz said in a press release.

"The findings have implications outside of pregnancy, in that they suggest that the causes of many complex diseases could be rooted in the experiences of our ancestors."

The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.

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