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Obes Res. 2003 Sep;11(9):1065-71.

Maternal obesity and infant heart defects.

Author information

  • 1Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. marie.cedergren@lio.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study determined whether obese women have an increased risk of cardiovascular defects in their offspring compared with average weight women.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

In a case-control study, prospectively collected information was obtained from Swedish medical health registers. The study included 6,801 women who had infants with a cardiovascular defect and, as controls, all delivered women (N = 812,457) during the study period (1992 to 2001). Infants with chromosomal anomalies or whose mothers had pre-existing diabetes were excluded. Obesity was defined as BMI >29 kg/m(2), and morbid obesity was defined as BMI >35 kg/m(2). Comparisons were made with average weight women (BMI = 19.8 to 26 kg/m(2)).

RESULTS:

In the group of obese mothers, there was an increased risk for cardiovascular defects compared with the average weight mothers [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.27], which was slightly more pronounced for the severe types of cardiovascular defects (adjusted OR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.44). With morbid obesity, the OR for cardiovascular defects was 1.40 (95% CI, 1.22 to 1.64), and for severe cardiovascular defects, the OR was 1.69 (95% CI, 1.27 to 2.26). There was an increased risk for all specific defects studied among the obese women, but only ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects reached statistical significance.

DISCUSSION:

In this sample, a positive association was found between maternal obesity in early pregnancy and congenital heart defects in the offspring. A suggested explanation is undetected type 2 diabetes in early pregnancy, but other explanations may exist.

PMID:
12972676
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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