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Bariatric Surgery Might Lead to Premature Birth

Update Date: Nov 13, 2013 11:02 AM EST

Babies who take birth after a bariatric surgery are likely to be premature, a study finds. They might be also small for gestational age. Bariatric surgery is also known as weight loss surgey.

According to researchers such pregnancies are comparatively riskier and should be monitored with extra parental care.

More women got interested in the bariatric operations and it saw dramatic increase in the recent years. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet studied the effects of the operation especially on women and came with such findings. The study was based on the data from the Swedish Medical Birth Register and also the Patient Register.

For the study, two group were formed. The one with 2,500 babies, of women who had previously undergone the bariatric surgery born in between 1992 to 2009. And the other with 12,500 babies who were from the women who had not previously undergone bariatric surgery. The pregnancy were matched to each one of them participating. This made mother’s BMI, age, educational qualifications and smoking habits comparable in both groups.

They found that infants of women who had previously undergone bariatric surgery had lower weights at delivery. Around 5 per cent of them were small for gestational age.

“Mothers with the same BMI gave birth to babies of varying weights depending on whether or not they had undergone bariatric surgery, so there is some kind of association between the two,” said Dr Olof Stephansson, obstetrician and Associate Professor at the Clinical Epidemiology Unit at Karolinska Institutet in a press release. “The mechanism behind how surgery influences fetal growth we don’t yet know, but we do know that people who have bariatric surgery are at increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies.”

Researchers suggested that women with a bariatric surgery should take extra precautions during pregnancy. This includes extra ultrasound to check fetal growth, special dietary supplement and close parental attention.

The study is published online in BMJ.

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