Risk of major adverse perinatal outcomes in women with eating disorders

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Abstract

Background

Low birth weight, prematurity and higher miscarriage rates have previously been reported in women with eating disorders.

Aims

To determine whether women with a history of eating disorders are at higher risk of major adverse perinatal outcomes.

Methods

Adjusted birth weight, preterm delivery and miscarriage history were compared in those with a history of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa (n=171), bulimia nervosa (n=199) and both (n=82)) and those with other (n=1166) and no psychiatric disorders (n=10 636) in a longitudinal cohort study.

Results

The group with bulimia nervosa had significantly higher rates of past miscarriages (relative risk ratio 2.0, P=0.01) and the group with anorexia nervosa delivered babies of significantly lower birth weight than the general population (P=0.01), which was mainly explained by lower pre-pregnancy body mass index. Preterm delivery rates were comparable across groups.

Conclusions

Women with a history of eating disorders are at higher risk of major adverse obstetric outcomes. Antenatal services should be aware of this higher risk.

Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

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