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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Apr;200(4):395.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.10.047. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

A prospective study of pregnancy outcome and biomarkers of oxidative stress in nulliparous obese women.

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  • 1Division of Reproduction and Endocrinology, Maternal and Fetal Research Unit, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.



We sought to investigate pregnancy outcome and biomarkers of oxidative stress in nulliparous obese pregnant women.


Pregnancy outcome and blood biomarkers were assessed prospectively in 385 obese nulliparous women from the placebo arm of a randomized controlled trial.


Body mass index was associated with higher rates of preeclampsia (PE) (P = .010) and cesarean section (P = .016). In all, 18.8% of infants were small for gestational age (< 10th adjusted birthweight centile), 13.4% were large for gestational age (> 90th centile), and 11.9% were preterm. The plasma ascorbic acid concentration was inversely related to small-for-gestational-age delivery (P < .025), and increased plasma triglyceride concentrations with later PE (P < .0001). Plasma uric acid concentration (P = .043) and the gamma- tocopherol:alpha-tocopherol ratio (P = .023) were related to body mass index.


A previously unreported risk of fetal growth restriction associated with reduced plasma ascorbic acid concentration was identified in nulliparous obese women. The high incidence of PE and preterm birth were unrelated to oxidative stress markers.

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