Increased Risk Of Infant Mortality Lies With Obesity

pregnant woman posing outside leaning against a tree(BlackDoctor.org) — Obesity in pregnant women could increase the chance of the newborns to pass away in the first few weeks of his or hers life as research shows.

Given high infant mortality rates in the US as compared to other developed nations, the researchers say, if the results are confirmed, “obesity prevention should be explored as a measure to reduce infant mortality.”

Obese pregnant women are known to be at greater risk of fetal death, while there is also some evidence that death rates are higher among babies born to obese women, according to Dr. Aimin Chen of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and colleagues.

To investigate the relationship in more detail, the researchers compared records for 4,265 babies who died in infancy and 7,293 surviving babies, using data from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey.

Among the infants that died, 8.8 percent had obese mothers, compared to 5.9 percent of surviving infants. Babies born to obese women were at greater risk of death in their first year, and were also more likely to die in their first 28 days of life than infants born to normal-weight women.