Researchers from the Children’s Health Hospital in Weifang, China recently reviewed 29 studies with more than 1.9 million participants in hopes of finding a connection between maternal adipose level and risk of preeclampsia. Previous studies have reported contradicting results, thus the large-scale review of published studies.

Based on information pooled from the studies, including information on more than 67,000 cases of preeclampsia, maternal weight plays an important role in preeclampsia risk. After taking contributing factors into consideration, severely obese women were 4.14 times more likely to suffer preeclampsia. Obese women were 2.93 times more likely and overweight women were 1.7 times more likely.

Maternal weight does play a role in risk of preeclampsia. Overweight, obese and severely obese pregnant women should be watched closely for early signs of preeclampsia as part of regular prenatal care.

Source: Wang Z, Wang P, Liu H, He X, Zhang J, Yan H, Xu D, Wang B. Maternal adiposity as an independent risk factor for pre-eclampsia: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Obes Rev. 2013 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/obr.12025.