Obesity early in pregnancy associated with increased incidence of postpartum issues
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, Oct. 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Early pregnancy obesity is associated with a higher incidence of postpartum hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in Circulation Research.
Sadiya S. Khan, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined the correlation between body mass index and adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs), including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, small-for-gestational-age birth, and gestational diabetes, and postpartum cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in a sample of adults from the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-To-Be Heart Health Study, enrolled in their first trimester. A total of 4,216 participants were enrolled and had a follow-up visit at 3.7 years postpartum.
The researchers found that hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, small-for-gestational-age birth, and gestational diabetes occurred in 15, 8, 11, and 4 percent of participants, respectively. Compared with normal body mass index, early pregnancy obesity was associated with an increased incidence of postpartum hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes, even after adjustment for baseline CVD risk factor levels. Higher incidence rates of postpartum hypertension and hyperlipidemia were seen in association with APOs. A small proportion of the association between obesity and incident hypertension was mediated by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (13 percent), which did not mediate associations with incident hyperlipidemia or diabetes.
“This contributes to the growing evidence base that APOs largely represent a marker of preexisting CVD risk that is unmasked during pregnancy and suggests growing emphasis on early pregnancy or prepregnancy interventions before an APO occurs,” the authors write.
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