The association between maternal obesity, glucose intolerance and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in nondiabetic pregnant women Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study is to evaluate whether pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) among nondiabetic patients is associated with glucose intolerance. A retrospective case-control study was designed including a study group who had pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia. Patients with normal pregnancy were used as a control group matched to cases by parity. Diabetic patients, nonsingleton pregnancies, and women without prenatal care were excluded. Data concerning fasting glucose levels, glucose challenge test (GCT), and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were collected from patients' files. There were 131 patients in each study group. The study group had significantly higher mean maternal age, mean GCT levels, and mean pregestational body mass index (BMI) (28.0 +/- 5.8 vs. 26.5 +/- 5.3, p = 0.02; 5.8 +/- 1.4 vs. 5.1 +/- 1.1 p = 0.0018; 26 +/- 5.1 vs. 23 +/- 4.0 p < 0.001, respectively) than the control group. Mean gestational age and birthweight were also significantly lower in the study group (38.5 +/- 2.1 vs. 39.4 +/- 1.7 p < 0.001; 2929 g +/- 614.7 vs. 3225 +/- 461.1 p < 0.001, respectively). Stratified analysis according to parity demonstrated that pregestational BMI, weight gain during pregnancy, and cesarean section (CS) were significantly higher in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension than in controls in all parity groups. Maternal age and mean GCT levels of women with pregnancy-induced hypertension were higher in all parity groups but statistically significant only among multiparous patients. Multiple logistic regression demonstrated that BMI, weight gain, and maternal age were independently associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension, while GCT level was not. Conclusions. Elevated pregestational BMI is an independent risk factor for development of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). Its association with elevated GCT levels implies that even without overt diabetes, glucose intolerance may play a role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia in obese patients.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005