4/10/2012

Morbid obesity increases a pregnant woman's risk of fetal loss after amniocentesis, concludes a new study in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The findings are important because obese women are more likely to be recommended for invasive prenatal testing, given that maternal obesity hinders the ability of ultrasonography to help detect conditions such as Down syndrome. Women who were moderately obese were not at increased risk of fetal loss after amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling compared with women of normal weight. Women with a BMI of 40.0 or higher, however, were 2.2 times more likely to miscarry after amniocentesis compared with women with a BMI of 25.0 or less, although they had similar rates of fetal loss after CVS. The authors conclude that clinicians should consider using BMI-specific information, particularly for morbidly obese women, when counseling women regarding the risk of fetal loss after an invasive prenatal diagnostic procedure. Read the abstract.

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