High BMI in Early Pregnancy Causally Tied to Adverse Outcomes

Authors say findings support preconception weight interventions
High BMI in Early Pregnancy Causally Tied to Adverse Outcomes
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- There is a causal relationship between maternal pre-/early-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and 14 of 20 adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in BMC Medicine.

Maria Carolina Borges, Ph.D., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues explored the relation between maternal pre-/early-pregnancy BMI and 20 pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. The analysis included data from more than 400,000 women.

The researchers found that multivariable regression, Mendelian randomization, and paternal negative control analyses all supported associations of higher maternal BMI with lower odds of maternal anemia, delivering a small-for-gestational-age baby, and initiating breastfeeding. All three methods demonstrated higher odds of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, prelabor membrane rupture, induction of labor, caesarean section, large-for-gestational-age baby, high birthweight, low Apgar score at one minute, and neonatal intensive care unit admission. In a multivariable regression, higher maternal BMI was associated with a higher risk for gestational hypertension (odds ratio, 1.67), with similar results seen for Mendelian randomization (odds ratio, 1.59).

"Preconception interventions to support women maintaining a healthy BMI may reduce the burden of obstetric and neonatal complications," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to the medical technology industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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