Pregnancy complications associated with the co-prevalence of excess maternal weight and depression

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Obesity and depression have become prevalent pregnancy complications, individually associated with adverse perinatal health outcomes. Despite the co-prevalence of these two risk factors, their combined effects on maternal health are yet to be studied. The objective of this study was to examine the combined associations of overweight/obesity and depression with maternal and delivery complications.

METHODS:

A retrospective cohort study of women with singleton gestations at > 20 weeks, in Ontario, Canada (April 2007 to March 2010), was conducted. Our primary outcomes were a composite of maternal complications (for example, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, preterm premature rupture of membranes and so on), and a composite of delivery complications (for example, caesarean delivery, shoulder dystocia, postpartum haemorrhage and so on).

RESULTS:

The study population consisted of 70 605 women, of whom 50.3% were overweight/obese. Depression was reported in 5.0% of normal-weight women and 6.2% of overweight/obese women. The proportion of women with maternal complications was the highest among the overweight/obese depressed pregnant women (16% of normal-weight non-depressed, 22% of normal-weight depressed, 22% of overweight/obese non-depressed and 29% of overweight/obese depressed, P < 0.001), as was the proportion of women with delivery complications (44%, 49%, 50% and 53%, respectively, P < 0.001). Overweight/obese depressed pregnant women also experienced the highest odds of the composite of maternal complications and the composite of delivery complications (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.35-1.77 and OR: 1.27, 95% CI: 1.13-1.42, respectively) after adjustment for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS:

The combined associations of excess weight and depression with adverse pregnancy outcomes are important to recognize in order to focus counselling and care, both before and during pregnancy.

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