Obesity and Diabetes Carry Risks for Pregnant Women

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Pregnancy

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The risks that obesity and diabetes carry for adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as cesarean section and low birth weight, vary among racial and ethnic groups, yet both conditions are bad news for all women hoping for a healthy pregnancy.

Researchers collected data from the 1999, 2000 and 2001 New York City birth files for 329,988 singleton births that included information on the mother's pre pregnancy weight and weight gain during pregnancy. They found that chronic and gestational diabetes were significant risks for a primary cesarean and for preterm birth in all women. Diabetes as a risk for low birth weight varied by group. For example, whereas chronic diabetes increased the risk for low birth weight among Asians, Hispanics, and whites, it was not a significant predictor of low birth weight among blacks.

The bottom line, say the study's authors: "In this large, population-based study, obesity and diabetes were independently associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, highlighting the need for women to undergo lifestyle changes to help them control their weight during the childbearing years and beyond.

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