Relation between Maternal Obesity and Fetal Congenital Malformations


Background: There is evidence suggests that there is an association between maternal obesity and some congenital abnormalities.Objective: Since there is no local study has been examined the relation between maternal pregnancy obesity and overweight and fetal congenitalmalformations, we explored this relation in Babylon women and compared our findings with previous studies. Materials and Methods: Thisprospective study was carried on patients admitted to Babil Obestetric and Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Babylon city, Iraq, from April 2016to April 2017. Data were collected by history, clinical examination, and investigations and body mass index was measured for all patients. Allneonates examined by pediatrician and surgeon to detect any congenital malformations. All the mothers of case infants or control infants ofage more than 35 years or <18 years were excluded from this study. Control infants are infants without any congenital malformations. All themothers with positive tests for toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, rubella, or proved to have diabetes and surgical problems were also excludedfrom the study. All the mothers living in an area known to have a history of radiation exposure were also excluded. The affected infants havebeen identified. The risks for obese and overweight women were compared with those for average‑weight women. Results: Obese women (studycases) have more infants with neural tube defect, especially spina bifida and anencephaly than were average‑weight women (control). Obesewomen were more likely to have an infant with hydrocephaly defect in compare to average‑weight women. Over‑weight women also havean infant with defects, such as meningocele, spina bifida, meningocele and hydrocephaly, multiple abnormalities, hydrocephaly, meningoceleand anencephaly, and anencephaly. There were no significant associations between congenital malformations and underweight women.Conclusions: Our study gives an evidence that there is an association between maternal obesity and fetal congenital malformations. Maternalobesity constitutes a serious health risk for the fetus the impact of which increases with the degree of obesity.