Maternal Obesity During Pregnancy Associates With Premature Mortality and Major Cardiovascular Events in Later Life

Kuan Ken Lee, Edwin A. Raja, Amanda J. Lee, Sohinee Bhattacharya, Siladitya Bhattacharya, Jane E Norman, Rebecca M Reynolds (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


One in 5 pregnant women is obese but the impact on later health is unknown. We aimed to determine whether maternal obesity during pregnancy associates with increased premature mortality and later life major cardiovascular events. Maternity records of women who gave birth to their first child between 1950 and 1976 (n=18 873) from the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal databank were linked to the National Register of Deaths, Scotland and Scottish Morbidity Record. The effect of maternal obesity at first antenatal visit on death and hospital admissions for cardiovascular events was tested using time-to-event analysis with Cox proportional hazard regression to compare outcomes of mothers in underweight, overweight, or obese body mass index (BMI) categories compared with normal BMI. Median follow-up was at 73 years. All-cause mortality was increased in women who were obese during pregnancy (BMI>30 kg/m2) versus normal BMI after adjustment for socioeconomic status, smoking, gestation at BMI measurement, preeclampsia, and low birth weight (hazard ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.77). In adjusted models, overweight and obese mothers had increased risk of hospital admission for a cardiovascular event (1.16; 1.06–1.27 and 1.26; 1.01–1.57) compared with normal BMI mothers. Adjustment for parity largely unchanged the hazard ratios (mortality: 1.43, 1.09–1.88; cardiovascular events overweight: 1.17, 1.07–1.29; and obese: 1.30, 1.04–1.62). In conclusion, maternal obesity is associated with increased risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease. Pregnancy and early postpartum could represent an opportunity for interventions to identify obesity and reduce its adverse consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-944
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Early online date14 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • obesity
  • BMI
  • pregnancy
  • cardiovascular disease
  • death
  • body mass index


Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal Obesity During Pregnancy Associates With Premature Mortality and Major Cardiovascular Events in Later Life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this