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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2014 Mar;40(3):705-10.

Effects of body mass index and body fat percentage on gestational complications and outcomes.



The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage (BFP) and gestational outcomes.


Maternal- and infant-related data of gestation and gestational outcomes of 411 pregnant women were retrospectively analyzed. BMI was used to classify the women as obese, overweight, or normal. BFP was measured by the segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance method. The mothers' blood lipid profiles were assessed by automated chemical analysis. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the correlation of BMI and BFP with gestational complications.


The rates of gestational diabetes and hypertension were significantly different between mothers who were obese (33.3%, 52.6%), overweight (10.3%, 32.2%) and normal (8.7%, 14.9%) (P < 0.001). The Apgar score at 1 min and intensive care unit admissions rate at birth were significantly different between infants born to obese (6.14 ± 0.80, 14.0%), overweight (6.64 ± 1.10, 8.9%) and normal (7.20 ± 0.78, 1.9%) mothers (P < 0.01). The Apgar score at 5 min and the birthweights were not significantly different between these three groups (P > 0.05). Additionally, the levels of serum total cholesterol (mmol/L), total triglycerides (mmol/L), and leptin (ng/mL) were significantly higher in obese (5.87 ± 2.26, 2.04 ± 1.65, 24.79 ± 18.38) and overweight (5.29 ± 1.85, 1.74 ± 1.05, 20.79 ± 15.19) women, compared to normal women (4.89 ± 1.05, 1.45 ± 0.77, 13.35 ± 6.51) (P < 0.05). Furthermore, BFP was more strongly correlated to gestational diabetes (rs = 0.57 vs 0.68) and hypertension (rs = 0.31 vs 0.43) than BMI.


Obesity and overweight are associated with increased adverse maternal and neonatal complications. BFP is a more accurate predictor of gestational outcomes than BMI.

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