Increasing pre-pregnancy body mass index is predictive of a progressive escalation in adverse pregnancy outcomes

Judith H. Chung, Kathryn A. Melsop, William M. Gilbert, Aaron B. Caughey, Cheryl K. Walker, Elliot K. Main

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the association between pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and adverse pregnancy outcomes using a large administrative database. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of California women delivering singletons in 2007. The association between pre-pregnancy BMI category and adverse outcomes were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression. Results: Among 436,414 women, increasing BMI was associated with increasing odds of adverse outcomes. Obese women (BMI3039.9) were nearly 3x more likely to have gestational diabetes (OR2.83, 95% CI2.742.92) and gestational hypertension/preeclampsia (2.68, 2.592.77) and nearly twice as likely to undergo cesarean (1.82, 1.781.87), when compared to normal BMI women (BMI18.524.9). Morbidly obese women (BMI ≥ 40) were 4x more likely to have gestational diabetes (4.72, 4.464.99) and gestational hypertension/preeclampsia (4.22, 3.974.49) and nearly 3x as likely to undergo cesarean (2.60, 2.462.74). Conclusion: There is a strong association between increasing maternal BMI and adverse pregnancy outcomes. This information is important for counseling women regarding the risks of obesity in pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1635-1639
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012



  • BMI
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Macrosomia
  • Preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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