The Impact of Obesity on Physiologic Indicators

Rebecca Jo Helmreich, Janet C. Meininger, Nikhil S. Padhye, M. Terese Verklan


Obesity results in an alteration in the stress response that often results in adverse perinatal outcomes. This study investigated physiologic changes in 21 obese and 20 overweight women during pregnancy and the impact on vagal response (heart period and respiratory sinus arrhythmia), oxygenation, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and systolic blood pressure at 20, 28 and 36 weeks of gestation. The impact of obesity on perinatal outcomes was investigated. Blood oxygen, systolic blood pressure, and HbA1c levels were significantly higher for the obese women as compared with overweight women. Monitoring physiologic mal-adaptation may permit early detection and intervention to improve perinatal outcomes.


vagal response; oxygenation; blood pressure; hemoglobin A1c; obesity; overweight; pregnancy

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