Objective: To determine whether morbidly obese women have an increased risk of pregnancy complications and adverse perinatal outcome.
Methods: In a retrospective study, 2472 women with morbid obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) more than 40 were compared with normal weight women (BMI 20-25). Fisher and Student tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results: In the group of morbidly obese mothers (BMI greater than 40) as compared with the normal weight mothers, there was an increased risk of the following outcomes: gravidic hypertension (7.7 vs 0.5%; p<0.05). preeclampsia (11.5 vs 2%; p<0.05), gestational diabetes (15.4 vs 1.8%; p<0.05), cesarean delivery (50 vs 15.4%; p<0.05), and macrosomia (42.3 vs 10.3%; p<0.05). However, we noted a lower rate of prematurity in the obese group (0 vs 11%). Even when morbidly obese women with preexisting diabetes and chronic hypertension were excluded from the analysis, significant differences in the perinatal outcomes still persisted.
Conclusion: Morbid obesity appears to be an independent risk factor for perinatal and gestational complications.