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High BMI causes pregnancy complications

Pregnant women with a high or low body mass index (BMI) are more likely to have complications. 

A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that pregnant women with a BMI that is too high or too low are likely to need additional time in hospital. 

Using the routine obstetrics records from Scotland, researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen found that the risk of complications increases with BMI. 

Compared to normal weight women, severely obese women had three times the chance of hypertension and gestational diabetes. 

Underweight women had an 8% increased risk for hospital admission and the chances increased for overweight (16%), obese (45%) and severely obese (88%) women. 

Dr Fiona Denison from the Queens's Medical Research Institute Edinburgh and co-author of the paper; said: “These findings further highlight the need for local and national government in Scotland, and other developed countries, to implement fundamental strategies that will help reduce the prevalence of obesity.

“Longer term benefits of reducing maternal obesity will show improvements, not only in the health outcomes of mothers and their babies, but the workload and cost to current maternity services.”