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Women from deprived areas at greatest risk of maternal obesity

Journal alert

Journal alert

Women living in deprived areas are more than twice as likely to develop maternal obesity, a longitudinal database study has found.

Data on nearly 37,000 women was collected prospectively from a large maternity unit from January 1990 until December 2004.

The proportion of women who were obese at the start of their pregnancy increased significantly from 9.9 per cent to 16 per cent over the study period. Mothers from areas of greatest deprivation were 2.4 times more likely to develop obesity.

The study also found that the incidence of maternal obesity is accelerating as well as increasing. The researchers predict that 22 per cent of pregnant women will be obese by 2010.

Heslehurst N, Ells LJ, Simpson H et al. Trends in maternal obesity incidence rates, demographic predictors, and health inequalities in 36,821 women over a 15-year period. BJOG 2007;114:187-194

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