Early tobacco smoking may make great-granddaughters fatter
This UK study follows up previous evidence that sons of fathers who started smoking regularly before puberty had increased fat mass during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. These new analyses show that if the paternal grandfather had started smoking pre-puberty, then his granddaughters (but not grandsons) had evidence of excess fat mass at age 17 and again at age 24. The excess weight varied by age and was typically around 3 to 5 kg (7 to 13 pounds).
It goes even further. When fathers of maternal grandfathers had started smoking pre-puberty, their great-granddaughters (but not great-grandsons) had excess body fat at age 17 again at age 24. The excess weight varied by age and was typically around 5 to 6 kg (11 to 13 pounds).
This appears to be one of the first human demonstrations of transgenerational effects of an environmental exposure across four generations.
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Golding, J., Gregory, S., Northstone, K. et al. Human transgenerational observations of regular smoking before puberty on fat mass in grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sci Rep 12, 1139 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-04504-0