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High Maternal BMI Tied to Worse Outcomes, Higher Costs

Last Updated: September 20, 2013.

Maternal obesity is associated with considerable negative maternal and neonatal outcomes as well as substantially increased medical costs, according to research published online Sept. 18 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal obesity is associated with considerable negative maternal and neonatal outcomes as well as substantially increased medical costs, according to research published online Sept. 18 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Fiona C. Denison, M.D., from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed 124,280 singleton deliveries in 109,592 women in Scotland with a maternal body mass index (BMI) recorded prior to 16 weeks of gestation.

The researchers found that women who were overweight, obese, or severely obese had an increased risk of essential hypertension (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.87, 11.90, and 36.10, respectively); pregnancy-induced hypertension (aOR, 1.76, 2.98, and 4.48); gestational diabetes (aOR, 3.39, 11.90, and 67.40); emergency cesarean section (aOR, 1.94, 3.40, and 14.34); and elective cesarean section (aOR, 2.06, 4.61, and 17.92), compared to normal-weight women. For women who were underweight, overweight, obese, or severely obese, there was an 8, 16, 45, and 88 percent increase, respectively, in the number of admissions, compared to normal-weight women. There were also significant increases in the duration of hospital stay for women who were overweight, obese, or severely obese, compared to normal weight. For women who were underweight, overweight, obese, or severely obese, the additional mean maternity costs were £102.27, £59.89, £202.46, and £350.75, respectively.

"Maternal BMI influences maternal and neonatal morbidity, the number and duration of maternal and neonatal admissions, and health service costs," the authors write.

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