Background: Obesity is rapidly increasing in most populations of the world including Saudi community. Maternal obesity
adversely impacts pregnancy outcome through increased rates of hypertensive disease, diabetes, cesarean section and
Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine frequency of obesity and its adverse effects on reproductive outcome in
pregnant Saudi females.
Methods: Prospective Cohort study. Eight months (Nov 2008 to June 2009), Maternity and Children Hospital (MCH) Buraida,
Saudi Arabia. Sample included a group of 1000 randomly recruited pregnant Saudi females.
Patients were admitted through OPD and Emergency. Height was recorded once and weight twice; at the beginning
(prepregnancy weight) and end of pregnancy. The difference between the two weights was taken as net weight gain in
pregnancy. Prepregnancy weight was used to calculate Body mass index (BMI) using formula; Weight in Kg/Height in (m). 2
The sample was divided into 5 groups depending upon their BMI ;< 18.5, 18.5-24.9, 25-29.9, 30-39.9 &>40, classified as
underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese & morbidly obese respectively. The normal weight group was used as control
group. Data were collected regarding complications of obesity in pregnancy and labor and recorded on a Performa.
Results were calculated by using computer programme SPSS Version 13 for windows. A p-value of< 0.05 is used to
calculate statistical significance.
Results: The frequency of weight distribution in pregnant Saudi female calculated to be 2% (lean), 31% (normal weight),
33%(overweight),30% (obese) and 4%(morbidly obese). Compared with normal weight women, both overweight and obese
women had a significantly increased risk (p-value-<0.05) for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, and delivery
of a macrocosmic infant.
Conclusion: Overweight & obesity is a growing problem in pregnant Saudi females associated with increased risks of
fetomaternal complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery, and delivery of a macrocosmic infant.