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Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Feb;97(2):268-71.

Antenatal waist circumference and hypertension risk.

Author information

1
Department of Pathological Biochemistry, Glasgow Royal Infirmary University NHS Trust, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. nsattar@clinmed.gla.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether waist circumference at the first antenatal visit predicts risk of developing hypertension later in pregnancy.

METHODS:

Pregnant women with singleton pregnancies (n = 1142, median age 29 years, interquartile range 25-32 years, 387 primigravidas) were recruited at their first antenatal visits. Using standardized methods, midwives determined the weights, heights (for calculation of body mass index [BMI]), and waist circumferences of all women. Eighty-two women developed pregnancy-induced hypertension, and 21 developed preeclampsia (hypertension with proteinuria).

RESULTS:

The median waist circumference between 6 and 16 weeks' gestation was 79 cm (interquartile range 72-84 cm), and there was no significant relationship between waist circumference and gestational age. Greater waist circumference was noted in subjects who subsequently developed pregnancy-induced hypertension (median 81 versus 77 cm, Mann-Whitney U test, P =.002) or preeclampsia (median 80 versus 77 cm, P =.02). The conventional, nonpregnant waist circumference action level of 80 cm gave a Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio (OR) for pregnancy-induced hypertension of 1.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1, 2.9) and for preeclampsia of 2.7 (95% CI 1.1, 6.8), compared with waists of less than 80 cm. Body mass index values were higher in women who developed pregnancy-induced hypertension (median 26 versus 24, P =.001) or preeclampsia (median 26 versus 24, P =.02). The conventional action limit for a BMI of 25 had an OR for pregnancy-induced hypertension of 2.0 (95% CI 1.2, 3.4) and for preeclampsia of 1.9 (95% CI 0.7, 4.8). Results were similar when the analysis was restricted to data from primigravidas.

CONCLUSION:

We conclude that waist circumference up to 16 weeks' gestation can predict pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia. Therefore, waist circumference could form the basis for health promotion involving raising awareness of the importance of or urging weight reduction for women planning pregnancies.

PMID:
11165593
DOI:
10.1016/s0029-7844(00)01136-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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