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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 Apr;15(2):70-6. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Nov 7.

Obesity in pregnancy: prevalence and metabolic consequences.

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Reproductive and Maternal Medicine, University of Glasgow, Queen Elizabeth Building, 10 Alexander Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK.


Rates of obesity have increased exponentially worldwide to almost epidemic proportions. This is associated with a marked increase in adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes and subsequent burden on health care resources. In particular, maternal obesity is linked to numerous metabolic complications including subfertility, gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and thromboembolism with potential long-term health consequences for both mother and child. The underlying pathophysiology linking maternal obesity and adverse outcomes is complex but is likely to involve alterations in glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, perturbances in adipokines and vascular dysfunction all seen in obese women. Intervention studies are underway to determine whether alteration of maternal lifestyle can improve maternal and fetal outcomes.

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