obesity and pregnancyResearchers from Queens Hospital and Whipps Cross University Hospital in the United Kingdom recently published a question in the journal Medical Hypotheses. The question posed related to leptin levels, obesity and pregnancy management.

Leptin levels are dependent on the amount of fatty tissue in the body. More fatty tissue should mean higher levels of leptin. Leptin is associated with labor and delivery complications, though there is no clear consensus as to the function of leptin. Some experts believe the hormone affects how the body reacts to oxytocin, eventually leading to increased risk of C-section or complicated vaginal labor.

The question posed by researchers from participating hospitals is simple; should overweight and obese pregnant women be treated under different guidelines based on potentially higher leptin levels?

Source: Wuntakal R, Kaler M, Hollingworth T. Women with high BMI: Should they be managed differently due to antagonising action of leptin in labour? Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr 6. pii: S0306-9877(13)00124-2. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.03.006.