Original Article

Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 280, Issue 4, pp 579-584

First online:

Patterns and success of fetal programming among women with low and extremely low pre-pregnancy BMI

  • Victoria BelogolovkinAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Florida
  • , Amina P. AlioAffiliated withDepartment of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida
  • , Alfred K. MbahAffiliated withThe Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South Florida
  • , Heather B. ClaytonAffiliated withDepartment of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida
  • , Deanna WathingtonAffiliated withThe Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South Florida
  • , Hamisu M. SalihuAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South FloridaDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South FloridaThe Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South FloridaCenter for Research and Evaluation, Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South Florida Email author 

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Abstract

Purpose

To estimate the frequency of fetal programming phenotypes among women with low BMI and the success of these programming patterns-to determine if small for gestational age (SGA) is a biologically adaptive mechanism to improve chances for infant survival.

Methods

We examined the frequency of fetal programming phenotypes: SGA, large for gestational age (LGA), and adequate for gestational age (AGA) among 1,063,888 singleton live births from 1978 to 1997. We also estimated the success of fetal programming phenotypes using neonatal death as the primary study outcome.

Results

Underweight gravidas with AGA and LGA babies had elevated risk of neonatal mortality when compared to normal weight mothers, while the risk for neonatal mortality among mothers with SGA babies was reduced.

Conclusions

The variation in relative degrees of fetal programming patterns and success observed suggests that underweight mothers are more likely to succeed in programming SGA fetuses rather than any other phenotype.

Keywords

Low BMI SGA Fetal programming Neonatal mortality