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Weight Gain After Age 18 Linked to Preeclampsia Risk

Study finds 5.1-fold risk of preeclampsia in women gaining 10 kg or more

MONDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who gain weight during their reproductive years are at higher risk of experiencing preeclampsia during pregnancy than women who maintain a stable weight, according to a report in the July issue of Epidemiology.

Ihunnaya Frederick, M.P.H., from the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study of 1,644 pregnant women enrolled in the ongoing Omega Study.

Women who gained 10 kg or more since age 18 had a 5.1-fold greater risk for preeclampsia than women who did not. However, those who went through weight cycling -- losing weight and unintentionally gaining it back -- had no increased risk for the condition. As shown in previous studies, overweight or obesity during pregnancy was associated with preeclampsia risk (relative risk of 1.7 and 3.4, respectively) compared with normal-weight women.

"Our results may also motivate the development and promotion of public health campaigns that target young adults who may be more attuned to making healthful behavioral changes that can positively impact their reproductive outcomes and long-term health."

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