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Effect of Maternal Eating Disorder on Perinatal Outcome Minimal

No differences found in birth weight, size for gestational age, or premature birth

Effect of Maternal Eating Disorder on Perinatal Outcome Minimal

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with current or past eating disorders have few adverse perinatal outcomes, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Nadia Micali, M.D., Ph.D., from the University College London Institute of Child Health, and colleagues examined adverse perinatal outcomes and gestational weight gain trajectories in women with lifetime eating disorders. Women with singleton births were grouped based on lifetime (current or past) exposure: lifetime anorexia nervosa (AN; 129 women); lifetime bulimia nervosa (BN; 209 women); lifetime AN + BN (100 women); other lifetime psychiatric disorders (1,002 women); and unexposed women (3,816 women).

The researchers found that maternal AN correlated positively with suspected fetal distress, although no differences were observed in mean birth weight, prevalence of small-for-gestational-age, or premature birth. On average, women with AN had a lower body weight, but a higher rate of weight gain subsequently, compared with unexposed women, whereas women with BN had a higher body weight but a reduced rate of weight gain.

"Pregnancy and postnatal complications of the offspring were broadly speaking as common in women with lifetime eating disorders as in unexposed women, although failure to find differences might be compounded by low prevalence of specific outcomes," the authors write.

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