Trends in maternal obesity incidence rates, demographic predictors, and health inequalities in 36 821 women over a 15-year period
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2006
RCOG 2006 BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 114, Issue 2, pages 187–194, February 2007
How to Cite
Heslehurst, N., Ells, L., Simpson, H., Batterham, A., Wilkinson, J. and Summerbell, C. (2007), Trends in maternal obesity incidence rates, demographic predictors, and health inequalities in 36 821 women over a 15-year period. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 114: 187–194. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2006.01180.x
- Issue published online: 9 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2006
- Accepted 17 October 2006. Published OnlineEarly 4 December 2006.
Objective The aim of this study was to identify trends in maternal obesity incidence over time and to identify those women most at risk and potential-associated health inequalities.
Design Longitudinal database study.
Setting James Cook University Hospital maternity unit, Middlesbrough, UK.
Sample A total of 36 821 women from 1 January 1990 to 31 December 2004.
Methods Trends in maternal obesity incidence over time were analysed using chi-square test for trend. Demographic predictor variables were analysed using multivariate logistic regression, adjusting for confounding factors after testing for multicollinearity. National census data were used to place the regional data into the context of the general population.
Main outcome measure Trends in maternal obesity incidence. Demographic predictor variables included ethnic group, age, parity, marital status, employment and socio-economic disadvantage.
Results The proportion of obese women at the start of pregnancy has increased significantly over time from 9.9 to 16.0% (P < 0.01). This is best described by a quadratic model (P < 0.01) showing that the rate is accelerating; by 2010, the rate will have increased to 22% of this population if the trend continues. There is also a significant relationship with maternal obesity and mothers’ residing in areas of most deprivation (odds ratio [OR] = 2.44, 95% CI = 1.98, 3.02, P < 0.01), with increasing age (OR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.04, 1.05, P < 0.01), and parity (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.12, 1.21, P < 0.01).
Conclusions The incidence of maternal obesity at the start of pregnancy is increasing and accelerating. Predictors of maternal obesity are associated with health inequalities, particularly socio-economic disadvantage.