Moderate and extreme maternal obesity

Type Article

Journal Article


M. O. Abdelmaboud; H. Ryan; M. Hession; G. Avalos; J. J. Morrison

Year of publication



Ir Med J








The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of moderate and extreme obesity among an Irish obstetric population over a 10-year period, and to evaluate the obstetric features of such pregnancies. Of 31,869 women delivered during the years 2000-2009, there were 306 women in the study group, including 173 in the moderate or Class 2 obese category (BMI 35-39.9) and 133 in the extreme or Class 3 obese category (BMI > or = 40).The prevalence of obese women with BMI > or = 35 was 9.6 per 1000 (0.96%), with an upward trend observed from 2.1 per 1000 in the year 2000, to 11.8 per 1000 in the year 2009 (P = 0.001). There was an increase in emergency caesarean section (EMCS) risk for primigravida versus multigravid women, within both obese categories (P < 0.001). However, there was no significant difference in EMCS rates observed between Class 2 and Class 3 obese women, when matched for parity. The prevalence of moderate and extreme obesity reported in this population is high, and appears to be increasing. The increased rates of abdominal delivery, and the levels of associated morbidity observed, have serious implications for such women embarking on pregnancy.