Children Exposed to Metformin In Utero Have Increased Risk of Being Overweight

Ultrasound of fetus at 37 weeks
Ultrasound of fetus at 37 weeks
Children exposed to metformin had higher BMI and increased prevalence of overweight/obesity at 4 years of age.

HealthDay News — Children exposed to metformin in utero have an increased risk of being overweight at age 4 years, according to research published 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 2 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.

The researchers found that at age 4 years there was a nonsignificant difference in height z scores between children of women randomly assigned to placebo and those randomly assigned to metformin. However, at 4 years of age, the metformin group had a higher weight z score than the placebo group (P =.017) and a higher BMI z score (P =.010). In the metformin group, there were moreoverweight/obese children compared to the placebo group (P =.038).

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

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Engen Hanem LG, Stridsklev S, Júlíusson PB, et al. Metformin use in PCOS pregnancies increases the risk of offspring overweight at 4 years of age; follow-up of two RCTs [February 27, 2018]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi: 10.1210/jc.2017-02419