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Obese women are more likely to give birth early: research

Women who are overweight or obese when pregnant are one third more likely to give birth early, researchers have warned.

Maternal obesity is a growing problem as the proportion of overweight adults in the general population increases.

Overweight or obese women were more likely to to give birth before 32 weeks or 33 weeks and the heavier the woman was the more likely she was to deliver early with the very obese 82pc more likely to give birth very prematurely.

The study published online in the British Medical Journal also found doctors were more likely to induce birth early when a woman was overweight or obese.

The research was conducted by Sarah McDonald, Associate Professor at McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada.

Overall the increased risk of induced birth before 37 weeks gestation was 30pc compared with normal weight women.

Very obese women were 70pc more likely to be induced before 37 weeks.

Obese women are more likely to suffer pregnancy complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure which may require early birth.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]