Impact of maternal obesity on obstetric outcome in a rural population in Pondicherry

Anitha Vijay, Gayathri Maran, Vijaya Koothan


Background: The aim of the current study is to assess the impact of maternal obesity on maternal and fetal outcome in a rural setup

Methods: This prospective comparative study was carried out in a tertiary health care setup in rural south India. The study enrolled hundred pregnant women who were divided into two groups based on their body mass index, as obese (BMI ≥30) and non-obese (BMI <30) categories. Maternal and fetal outcomes were studied. Data was analysed for significance with Chi-square test.

Results: There were significant associations between maternal obesity and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as pregnancy induced hypertension (P = 0.0145), gestational diabetes (P = 0.0285), induction of labour (P = 0.05), instrumental delivery (P = 0.049), caesarean deliveries (P = 0.0005) and shoulder dystocia (P = 0.0451). Post-partum complications like atonic post-partum hemorrhage (P = 0.0359) and puerperal sepsis (P = 0.00139) were more in obese mothers. Neonatal complications like macrosomia (P = 0.0056), low APGAR (P = 0.0147), intensive care admissions (P =0.0061) and perinatal deaths (P = 0.045) were also found to be significantly more common in babies born to obese mothers. No significant associations were seen in occurrence of malpresentations, failed induction, non-progress of labour and other complications.

Conclusions: Obese women are at increased risk of both maternal and fetal complications even in a rural population where it is thought to be less prevalent when compared to urban population. As obesity is a preventable condition, awareness and proper counseling regarding the hazards of obesity is becoming highly necessary.



BMI, Obesity, Obstetric outcome, Rural population

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