Conference Coverage

Maternal morbidity and BMI: A dose-response relationship



– Women with the highest levels of obesity were at higher odds of experiencing a composite serious maternal morbidity outcome, while women at all levels of obesity experienced elevated risks of some serious complications of pregnancy, compared with women with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, according to a recent study.

Looking at individual indicators of severe maternal morbidity, Marissa Platner, MD, and her study coauthors saw that women who fell into the higher levels of obesity had significantly elevated odds of some complications.

“Those risks are really impressive, with odds ratios of two and three times that of a normal-weight patient,” said Dr. Platner in a video interview.

The adjusted odds ratio of acute renal failure for women with superobesity (BMI of 50 kg/m2 or more) was 3.62 (95% confidence interval, 1.75-7.52); odds ratios for renal failure were not significantly elevated for less-obese women.

Women with all levels of obesity had elevated risks of experiencing heart failure during a procedure or surgery, with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.68 (95% CI, 1.48-1.93) for women with class I obesity (BMI, 30-34.9 kg/m2) to 2.23 for women with superobesity (95% CI, 1.15-4.33).

Results from the retrospective cohort study were presented at the annual clinical and scientific meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Platner and her colleagues examined 4 years of New York City delivery data that were linked to birth certificates, identifying those singleton live births for whom maternal prepregnancy BMI data were available.


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