The effect of low body mass index on the development of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia

Victoria Belogolovkin, Keith A. Eddleman, Fergal D. Malone, Lisa Sullivan, Robert H. Ball, David A. Nyberg, Christine H. Comstock, Gary D.V. Hankins, Suzanne Carter, Lorraine Dugoff, Sabrina D. Craigo, Ilan E. Timor-Tritsch, Stephen R. Carr, Honor M. Wolfe, Mary E. D'Alton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives. To evaluate the relationship between low maternal body mass index (BMI) as calculated in the first trimester and the risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. Methods. Patients enrolled in the First And Second Trimester Evaluation of Risk for aneuploidy (FASTER) trial were grouped into three weight categories: low BMI (BMI <19.8 kg/m2), normal BMI (BMI 19.8 - 26 kg/m2), and overweight BMI (26.1 - 29 kg/m2). The incidences of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia were ascertained for each group. Tests for differences in crude incidence proportions were performed using Chi-square tests. Multiple logistic regression was used to adjust for maternal age, race, parity, obesity, use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), in vitro fertilization (IVF), gestational diabetes, pre-gestational diabetes, cocaine use, and smoking. Results. The proportion of patients having gestational hypertension in the low BMI group was 2.0% compared to 3.2% for normal BMI and 6.0% for overweight BMI (p < 0.0001). Women with low BMI were also less likely to develop preeclampsia, 1.1% vs. 1.9% for normal BMI and 2.8% for overweight BMI (p < 0.0001). Conclusions. We found that women with low BMI in the first trimester were significantly less likely to develop gestational hypertension or preeclampsia than women with a normal BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2007


  • Gestational hypertension
  • Low body mass index
  • Preeclampsia


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