Cumulative Overweight Pregnancies Increase Risk of Maternal Midlife Obesity

-Not only is excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) associated with increased long-term maternal weight, but a new study has shown that there is a cumulative effect of excessive GWG over multiple pregnancies. The study, which analyzed the effect of the number of excessive GWG pregnancies on body mass index (BMI) at midlife, is published in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article on the Journal of Women’s Health website through February 6, 2020.

The Effect of Gestational Weight Gain Across Reproductive History on Maternal Body Mass Index in Midlife: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation” was conducted by Franya Hutchins, MS, School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh (PA), and coauthors from University of Pittsburgh, University of California (Berkeley), University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester), and Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, CA).

The researchers found that each additional pregnancy with excessive GWG was associated with a higher BMI among women ages 42-53. Overall, nearly 40% of women reported a GWG that was higher than the recommended GWG in at least one pregnancy. Almost half (47.6%) of the women with excessive GWG in at least one pregnancy had an obese BMI at midlife, compared to 22.9% of those who had never experienced excessive GWG.

Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health and Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, states: “Hutchins et al. showed that each pregnancy with excessive GWG was associated with a 64% increase in the likelihood of obesity at midlife, regardless of race/ethnicity, number of pregnancies, and physical activity level. This finding makes a strong argument for avoiding excessive gestational weight gain in any pregnancy.”

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U01NR004061, U01AG012505, U01AG012535, U01AG012531, U01AG012539, U01AG012546, U01AG012553, U01AG012554, U01AG012495. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Led by Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, the Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women’s healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women’s Health website. Journal of Women’s Healthis the official journal of the Society for Women’s Health Research.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including LGBT Health, Transgender Health, Population Health Management, and Breastfeeding Medicine. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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