Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity During Pregnancy Associated With Increased Risk Of Birth Defects

Date:
February 18, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
For women who are obese during pregnancy, there is an associated increased risk of certain birth defects, such as spina bifida and neural tube defects, although the absolute increase in risk is likely to be small, according to an analysis of previous studies.

For women who are obese during pregnancy there is an associated increased risk of certain birth defects, such as spina bifida and neural tube defects, although the absolute increase in risk is likely to be small, according to an analysis of previous studies.

Related Articles


Obesity is a major public health and economic concern. In the United States, a third of women age 15 years and older were obese (body mass index [BMI] greater than 30) in 2004. There are significant health implications of prepregnancy maternal obesity for both mother and child. There is evidence that suggests that maternal obesity may be associated with the development of some congenital anomalies (abnormality present at birth). Congenital anomalies are a leading cause of stillbirth and infant death, accounting for 1 in 5 infant deaths in the United States, and are important contributors to preterm birth and childhood illnesses, according to background information in the article.

Katherine J. Stothard, Ph.D., and colleagues from Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., conducted a review and meta-analysis of studies to assess the relationship between maternal overweight and obesity and the risk of congenital anomaly in newborns. The researchers identified 39 articles that were included in a systematic review and 18 articles in the meta-analysis.

"In women who were obese at the start of pregnancy, the meta-analysis demonstrated a significantly increased risk of a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect [nearly twice the odds], including spina bifida [more than twice the odds]; cardiovascular anomaly, including a septal anomaly [heart defect]; cleft palate and cleft lip and palate; anorectal atresia [abnormality of the anus/rectum]; hydrocephaly [abnormal enlargement of the ventricles of the brain due to accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid]; and a limb reduction anomaly," the authors write.

The risk of gastroschisis (abdominal wall defect) among obese mothers was significantly reduced.

"An estimated 3 percent of all livebirths in the United States are affected by a structural anomaly with 0.68 per 1,000 births being affected by a neural tube defect and 2.25 per 1,000 births being affected by a serious heart anomaly. Given the findings of this review, and the BMI profile of the female population during the period when these estimates were generated, we calculate that the absolute risk of a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect or a serious heart anomaly is respectively 0.47 per 1,000 births and 0.61 per 1,000 births greater in an obese woman than a woman of recommended BMI in prepregnancy or early pregnancy. This has health implications, particularly given the continued rise in the prevalence of obesity in many countries," the authors write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine J. Stothard; Peter W. G. Tennant; Ruth Bell; Judith Rankin. Maternal Overweight and Obesity and the Risk of Congenital Anomalies. JAMA, 2009;301(6):636-650 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Obesity During Pregnancy Associated With Increased Risk Of Birth Defects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210161900.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, February 18). Obesity During Pregnancy Associated With Increased Risk Of Birth Defects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210161900.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Obesity During Pregnancy Associated With Increased Risk Of Birth Defects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210161900.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins