NYMC Faculty Publications

The vertical dimension of obesity: adverse pregnancy outcomes in the short obese versus tall obese parturient.

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Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Obstetrics and Gynecology


The objective of this study was to examine the effect of maternal height on adverse perinatal outcomes in obese parturients. This retrospective study was conducted from January 2015 to December 2015. Patients with BMI ≥ 35.0 kg/m2 before delivery were included and divided into 2 groups based on height. Patients ≤63 inches were in the short stature group and those > 63 inches were in the tall stature group. One hundred and twenty-five patients were in the short stature cohort and 124 in the tall stature cohort. Patients in short cohort had a significantly higher risk of preterm delivery <37 weeks (RR = 4.21 [1.24, 12.88]), spontaneous rupture of membranes (RR 1.47 [1.01-2.16]), and second stage caesarean delivery (CD) (RR 2.64 [1.1-6.39]). After multiple regression analysis, Hispanic race and short stature were independent predictors of preterm birth for obese patients.IMPACT STATEMENTWhat is already known on this subject? Compared to normal weight individuals, those who are obese have at a higher risk of adverse obstetric and perinatal outcomes including gestational diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, thromboembolism, macrosomia, higher incidence of caesarean deliveries and perinatal mortality.What do the results of this study add? Our findings show that short stature is an independent predictor for adverse perinatal outcomes in obese women. Specifically, short obese patients had significantly higher risk of preterm delivery before 37 weeks and second stage CD.What are the implications of the findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Our findings highlight the need for formulating a tailored plan for preconception health including pregnancy weight goals in short obese women. Additionally, maternal fat distribution and its effect on pro-inflammatory cytokine profiles is a potential area for future research, as maternal body composition may be a better predictor of perinatal outcome than BMI.