Maternal Obesity and Infant Heart Defects
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
2003 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)
Volume 11, Issue 9, pages 1065–1071, September 2003
How to Cite
Cedergren, M. I. and Källén, B. A.J. (2003), Maternal Obesity and Infant Heart Defects. Obesity Research, 11: 1065–1071. doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.146
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Received for review November 04, 2002; Accepted in final form June 24, 2003
- congenital malformations;
- pregnancy outcome
Objective: This study determined whether obese women have an increased risk of cardiovascular defects in their offspring compared with average weight women.
Research Methods and Procedures: In a case-control study, prospectively collected information was obtained from Swedish medical health registers. The study included 6801 women who had infants with a cardiovascular defect and, as controls, all delivered women (N = 812, 457) during the study period (1992 to 2001). Infants with chromosomal anomalies or whose mothers had pre-existing diabetes were excluded. Obesity was defined as BMI >29 kg/m2, and morbid obesity was defined as BMI >35 kg/m2. Comparisons were made with average weight women (BMI = 19.8 to 26 kg/m2).
Results: In the group of obese mothers, there was an increased risk for cardiovascular defects compared with the average weight mothers [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.27], which was slightly more pronounced for the severe types of cardiovascular defects (adjusted OR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.44). With morbid obesity, the OR for cardiovascular defects was 1.40 (95% CI, 1.22 to 1.64), and for severe cardiovascular defects, the OR was 1.69 (95% CI, 1.27 to 2.26). There was an increased risk for all specific defects studied among the obese women, but only ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects reached statistical significance.
Discussion: In this sample, a positive association was found between maternal obesity in early pregnancy and congenital heart defects in the offspring. A suggested explanation is undetected type 2 diabetes in early pregnancy, but other explanations may exist.