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Adverse Neonatal Outcomes Up With Increasing Maternal BMI

Adverse outcomes include fetal death, stillbirth, and neonatal/perinatal/infant death

Adverse Neonatal Outcomes Up With Increasing Maternal BMI

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Increases in maternal body mass index (BMI) are associated with increased risks of adverse perinatal and neonatal outcomes, according to research published in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dagfinn Aune, of Imperial College London, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies examining maternal BMI and its association with risk of fetal death, stillbirth, and infant death.

The researchers found that the summary relative risk (RR) per 5-unit increase in maternal BMI was 1.21 for fetal death (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 1.35), 1.24 for stillbirth (95 percent CI, 1.18 to 1.30), 1.16 for perinatal death (95 percent CI, 1.00 to 1.35), 1.15 for neonatal death (95 percent CI, 1.07 to 1.23), and 1.18 for infant death (95 percent CI, 1.09 to 1.28). Women who had a BMI of 20 (used as the reference standard), 25, and 30 kg/m², respectively, had absolute risks per 10,000 pregnancies of 76, 82, and 102 for fetal death; 40, 48, and 59 for stillbirth; 66, 73, and 86 for perinatal death; 20, 21, and 24 for neonatal death; and 33, 37, and 43, for infant death.

"Even modest increases in maternal BMI were associated with increased risk of fetal death; stillbirth; and neonatal, perinatal, and infant death," the authors write. "Weight management guidelines for women who plan pregnancies should take these findings into consideration to reduce the burden of fetal death, stillbirth, and infant death."

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