Keywords : BODY MASS INDEX
Basrah Journal of Surgery,
2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 72-77
Nutritional status of the women has been considered as an important prognostic indicator of
pregnancy outcome and risk of preterm birth. Few studies have evaluated the patterns of body
mass index in developing regions where malnutrition and poor weight gain as well as maternal
obesity have significant influences on the pregnancy outcome. This study aims to show the
effect of pregnancy body mass index on the incidence of preterm labour.
This is a prospective descriptive study of 200 women attended Basrah Maternity and Child
Hospital who were diagnosed with preterm labour were recruited in the study. Patients were
classified into categories that were based on their body mass index (BMI) according to the
national institute of health guidelines. Rate of spontaneous preterm birth were determined.
Women with body mass index <19 kg/m2 had 34.5% of spontaneous preterm labour, with BMI
19-24.9 kg/m2 had 28.5% of spontaneous preterm labour, while those with BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2
had 21% of spontaneous preterm labour, women with BMI 30-34.9 kg/m2 had 14% of
spontaneous preterm labour and with BMI >/35kg/m2 had 2%of spontaneous preterm labour.
Risk of spontaneous preterm labour tend to progressively decrease with increasing body mass
Thinner women who have preterm delivery tend to deliver at earlier gestational age than women
who were obese 42.3% of non obese women deliver before 30 weeks of gestation compared to
25% of the obese, 44% of non obese deliver at gestational age 30-40 weeks compared to 28.25
of the obese.
In conclusion, high body mass index is associated with a lower rate of spontaneous preterm