Obstetric and perinatal outcomes in women with eating disorders Academic Article uri icon


  • We wished to investigate whether women with a history of eating disorders have an increased risk for adverse obstetric and perinatal outcomes. A retrospective study was conducted comparing pregnancy complications in patients with and without eating disorders. Deliveries occurred during the years 1988-2009 in a tertiary medical center. Women lacking prenatal care and with multiple gestations were excluded from the study. Stratified analyses were performed using multivariable logistic regression models. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence interval (CI) were computed. A p value<0.05 was considered statistically significant. During the study period, of 117,875 singleton deliveries, 122 (0.1%) occurred in patients with eating disorders. Eating disorders were significantly associated with fertility treatments (5.7% vs. 2.8%, p=0.047), intrauterine growth restriction (7.4% vs. 2.3%, p<0.001), term low birth weight (<2500 g) (7.4% vs. 2.8%, p=0.002), preterm delivery (15.6% vs. 7.5%, p=0.002), and cesarean delivery (25.4% vs. 15.0%, p=0.001). Using multivariable analyses, low birth weight (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3-5.0), preterm delivery (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4-3.6), and cesarean section (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.9) were significantly associated with eating disorders. Eating disorders are associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Accordingly, careful surveillance is needed for early detection of possible complications.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012