King's College London

Research portal

Interpregnancy weight change and adverse pregnancy outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Eugene Oteng-Ntim, Sofia Mononen, Olga Sawicki, Paul T. Seed, Debra Bick, Lucilla Poston

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere018778
Number of pages14
JournalBMJ open
Issue number6
Early online date4 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

King's Authors


Objectives To evaluate the effect of interpregnancy body mass index (BMI) change on pregnancy outcomes, including large-for-gestational-age babies (LGA), small-for-gestational-age babies (SGA), macrosomia, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and caesarean section (CS). Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort studies. Data sources Literature searches were performed across Cochrane, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Global Health and MIDIRS databases. Study selection Observational cohort studies with participants parity from 0 to 1. Main outcome measures Adjusted ORs (aORs) with 95% CIs were used to evaluate the association between interpregnancy BMI change on five outcomes. Results 925 065 women with singleton births from parity 0 to 1 were included in the meta-analysis of 11 studies selected from 924 identified studies. A substantial increase in interpregnancy BMI (>3 BMI units) was associated with an increased risk of LGA (aOR 1.85, 95% CI 1.71 to 2.00, p<0.001), GDM (aOR 2.28, 95% CI 1.97 to 2.63, p<0.001), macrosomia (aOR 1.54, 95% CI 0.939 to 2.505) and CS (aOR 1.72, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.24, p<0.001) compared with the reference category, and a decreased risk of SGA (aOR 0.83, 95% CI 0.70 to 0.99, p=0.044). An interpregnancy BMI decrease was associated with a decreased risk of LGA births (aOR 0.70, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.90, p<0.001) and GDM (aOR 0.80, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.03), and an increased risk of SGA (aOR 1.31, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.63, p=0.014). Women with a normal BMI (<25kg/m 2) at first pregnancy who have a substantial increase in BMI between pregnancies had a higher risk of LGA (aOR 2.10, 95% CI 1.93 to 2.29) and GDM (aOR 3.10, 95% CI 2.74 to 3.50) when compared with a reference than women with a BMI ≥25 kg/m 2 at first pregnancy. Conclusions Gaining weight between pregnancies increases risk of developing GDM, CS and LGA, and reduces risk of SGA in the subsequent pregnancy. Losing weight between pregnancies reduces risk of GDM and LGA and increases risk of SGA. Weight stability between first and second pregnancy is advised in order to reduce risk of adverse outcomes. Trial registration number CRD42016041299.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454