Share This Page

Abnormal BMIs can complicate pregnancy

| Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 3:21 p.m.

Pregnant women with a body-mass index that is too low or too high are at increased risk for complications and hospitalization, according to a Scottish study.

BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

The findings ­— published Wednesday in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology — highlight the need for strategies to reduce obesity, said the study's co-author, Dr. Fiona Denison of Queens's Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh.

“Longer-term benefits of reducing maternal obesity will show improvements, not only in the health outcomes of mothers and their babies, but the workload and cost to current maternity services,” she said in a journal news release.

Researchers examined data from nearly 110,000 pregnant women in Scotland who were divided into five groups based on BMI: underweight, BMI of less than 18.5; normal weight, BMI of 18.5 to 24.9; overweight, BMI of 25 to 29.9; obese, BMI of 30 to 35; and severely obese, BMI of more than 35.

The risk of pregnancy complications among women increased with BMI, according to the study.

Severely obese women were three times more likely than normal-weight women to have high blood pressure (7.8 percent vs. 2.6 percent) and gestational diabetes (3 percent vs. 0.1 percent).

Compared to normal-weight women, those in all other weight categories had more and longer hospitalizations after birth. The risk of hospitalization was 8 percent higher for underweight women, 16 percent higher for overweight women and 45 percent higher for obese women.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.