News on Wellness

Obesity and Overweight Increases the Risk of Foetal and Infant Death

(Photo : Flickr/CC) Pregnant women who are obese or overweight may have an increased risk of miscarriage, stillborn or infant death, according to a recent study CNN reported.

A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom by a group of researchers was published in the US journal JAMA. It states that women who have higher BMI before or during the early pregnancy have higher chances of stillbirth, foetal and infant death.

(Photo : Flickr/CC) Pregnant women who are obese or overweight may have an increased risk of miscarriage, stillborn or infant death, according to a recent study CNN reported.

(Photo : Flickr/CC) Pregnant women who are obese or overweight may have an increased risk of miscarriage, stillborn or infant death, according to a recent study CNN reported.

Report shows that in 2008 alone that the 2.7 million stillbirths and over 3.6 million infant deaths took place in the first 28 days of life. Based on the earlier studies conducted suggesting BMI to be directly associated to pre-natal death, neonatal death and stillbirth, this research was conducted.

BMI means Body Mass Index which is a measure based on height and weight to the fat content of a person. Based on a person’s height, measure between 19 and 24 is usually recommended to be healthy and normal. People having a BMI over 25 but less than 29 are considered overweight and those that have over 30 are considered obese.

This research was conducted by Dagfinn Aune and few other colleagues from the Imperial College London. Though they have identified BMI to be linked to with these deaths, they were not able to establish what the optimal pregnancy BMI is.

A data which consisted of 38 studies showing 10147 foetal deaths, 4311 pre-natal deaths, 4983 infant deaths, 11294 neonatal deaths and 16274 stillbirths was reviewed. The results showed that when the maternal BMI even increased to a modest amount, the risk of these deaths increased for the foetus.

Severely obese women who had a BMI of 40+ increased their chances of these deaths by two to three in comparison to women who had the BMI of 20. When a woman is overweight or obese during pregnancy, various complications arise which include gestation hypertension, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, type II diabetes and congenital anomalies. These conditions increase the risk and increase foetal or infant death rate.

Researchers added that the women who have plans to get pregnant should take into account the weight management guidelines and reduce their weight so as to reduce risk of foetal and infant deaths.

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