The effects of cigarette smoking and gestational weight change on birth outcomes in obese and normal-weight women

Am J Public Health. 1997 Apr;87(4):591-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.4.591.


Objectives: The associations of infant birth outcomes with maternal pregravid obesity, gestational weight gain, and prenatal cigarette smoking were examined.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 1343 obese and normal-weight gravidas evaluated the associations of cigarette smoking, gestational weight change, and pregravid body mass index with birthweight, low birthweight, and small- and large-for-gestational-age births.

Results: Smoking was associated with the delivery of lower-birthweight infants for both obese and normal-weight women, and gestational weight gain did not eliminate the birthweight-lowering effects of smoking. Women at highest risk of delivering lower-birthweight infants were obese smokers whose gestational gains were less than 7 kg and normal-weight smokers whose gestational gains were less than 11.5 kg.

Conclusions: To balance the risks of small and large-size infants, gains of 7 to 11.5 kg for obese women and 11.5 to 16 kg for normal-weight women appear appropriate.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Obesity*
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking* / adverse effects
  • Weight Gain / physiology*