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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2013 Sep;92(9):1111-4. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12174. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Pregnancy outcomes in a cohort of women with a preconception body mass index >50 kg/m².

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Holbæk Hospital, Holbæk, Denmark.


We describe characteristics and risk factors regarding pregnancy outcome in women with a preconception body mass index (BMI) >50 kg/m² compared with women with BMI ≤50 kg/m² in a retrospective population cohort study in singleton pregnancies from the Danish Medical Birth Registry. Results were analyzed as relative risks by a two-proportion z-test. Women with preconception BMI >50 kg/m² smoked, developed gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, and needed induction of labor more frequently than mothers with BMI ≤50 kg/m². Examination of the case records showed that many attempted vaginal delivery without epidural analgesia, 21% needed an emergency cesarean section (compared with 12% among women with BMI ≤50 kg/m²), and 25% underwent general anesthesia in this context. Many neonates were macrosomic and 34% needed neonatal intensive care and early feeding compared with 6% of neonates from women with BMI ≤50 kg/m². Women with an extremely high preconception BMI develop more pregnancy complications and their neonates appear affected by this as well.


Body mass index; adverse outcome; cesarean section; macrosomia; obesity; pregnancy

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