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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 29, 2018

Stillbirths in women with pre-gravid obesity

  • Maja Dolanc Merc , Miha Lučovnik , Andreja Trojner Bregar , Ivan Verdenik , Nataša Tul and Isaac Blickstein EMAIL logo



To determine the association between pre-gravid obesity and stillbirth.


A retrospective study of a population-based dataset of births at ≥34 weeks’ gestation. We excluded fetal deaths due to lethal anomalies and intrapartum fetal deaths. We calculated the incidence of stillbirths, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions per ongoing pregnancies for each gestational week in the two body mass index (BMI) categories (≥30 vs.<30).


Pre-pregnancy obesity (BMI≥30), pre-pregnancy diabetes, oligo- and polyhydramnios, being small for gestational age (SGA) and preeclampsia were significantly associated with stillbirth. However, the only pre-gravid factor that is amenable to intervention was obesity [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20, 3.3]. The rates of stillbirth seem to increase with gestational age in both BMI categories. RDS and NICU admission would be presented.


Birth near term might reduce stillbirths and decrease NICU admissions occurring in term and in post-term obese women. This presumable advantage might be offset by the potential risk of labor induction and cesarean section among obese women. Women of childbearing age with a BMI≥30 should be counseled about these risks of obesity during pregnancy and childbirth.

Corresponding author: Isaac Blickstein, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaplan Medical Center, affiliated with the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine, Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel, Tel.: +972-545201789

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2018-08-13
Accepted: 2018-10-29
Published Online: 2018-11-29
Published in Print: 2019-04-24

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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