The influence of gestational weight gain on the development of gestational hypertension in obese women

Am J Perinatol. 2015 Jun;32(7):615-20. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1386634. Epub 2014 Dec 8.


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the influence of gestational weight gain on the development of gestational hypertension/preeclampsia (GHTN/PE) in women with an obese prepregnancy body mass index (BMI).

Methods: Obese women with a singleton pregnancy enrolled at < 20 weeks were studied. Data were classified according to reported gestational weight gain (losing weight, under-gaining, within target, and over-gaining) from the recommended range of 11 to 9.7 kg and by obesity class (class 1 = BMI 30-34.9 kg/m(2), class 2 = 35-39.9 kg/m(2), class 3 = 40-49.9 kg/m(2), and class 4 ≥ 50 kg/m(2)). Rates of GHTN/PE were compared by weight gain group overall and within obesity class using Pearson chi-square statistics.

Results: For the 27,898 obese women studied, rates of GHTN/PE increased with increasing class of obesity (15.2% for class 1 and 32.0% for class 4). The incidence of GHTN/PE in obese women was not modified with weight loss or weight gain below recommended levels. Overall for obese women, over-gaining weight was associated with higher rates of GHTN/PE compared with those with a target rate for obesity classes 1 to 3 (each p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Below recommended gestational weight gain did not reduce the risk for GHTN/PE in women with an obese prepregnancy BMI. These data support a gestational weight gain goal ≤ 9.7 kg in obese gravidas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Incidence
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult