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Editor's Note
May 7, 2019

Prepregnancy Body Mass Index, Weight Gain During Pregnancy, and Health Outcomes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Senior Editor, JAMA
  • 3University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
  • 4Associate Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2019;321(17):1715. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.3821

Each year, approximately 130 million infants are born worldwide, and there were 3.8 million births in the United States in 2017.1 Rates of maternal mortality and adverse pregnancy outcomes in the United States are increasing, and abnormal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and abnormal gestational weight gain have been associated with these adverse outcomes.

In a recent meta-analysis published in JAMA, Goldstein et al2 reported that gestational weight gain exceeded weight gain recommended by the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 47% of 1 309 136 pregnancies. Women with excess gestational weight gain were more likely to undergo cesarean delivery (odds ratio [OR], 1.30 [95% CI, 1.25-1.35]; absolute difference: 4%) and more likely to have infants who were large for gestational age (OR, 1.85 [95% CI, 1.76-1.95]; absolute difference: 4%) or who met criteria for macrosomia (OR, 1.95 [95% CI, 1.79-2.11]; absolute difference: 6%).2