Association of Maternal Obesity with Child Cerebral Palsy or Death

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Abstract

Objective

The primary aim of this study was to determine if there is an association between maternal obesity and cerebral palsy or death in children.

Study Design

This is a retrospective cohort analysis of a randomized controlled clinical trial previously performed by the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network. Women in the original trial were included if at high risk for preterm delivery. The present study included singletons enrolled in the original study with complete data. Obese and nonobese women were compared. A secondary analysis comparing class 3 obese or classes 1 to 2 obese women to nonobese women was performed. The primary outcome was a composite of cerebral palsy or perinatal death.

Results

In this study, 1,261 nonobese, 339 obese, and 69 morbidly obese women were included. When adjusted for gestational age at delivery and magnesium exposure, there was no association between maternal obesity and child cerebral palsy or death. In the analysis using obesity severity categories, excess risk for adverse outcome appeared confined to the class 3 obese group.

Conclusion

In women at high risk of delivering preterm, maternal obesity was not independently associated with child cerebral palsy or death. The association in unadjusted analysis appears to be mediated by preterm birth among obese patients.

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