Gestational Weight Gain and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Twin Pregnancies

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Obstetrics And Gynecology

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OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the association between gestational weight gain in twin pregnancies and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) birth, preterm birth before 32 weeks of gestation, cesarean delivery, and infant death within each prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) category.

METHODS:Data in this population-based study came from Pennsylvania-linked infant birth and death records (2003–2013). We studied 54,836 twins born alive before 39 weeks of gestation. Total pregnancy weight gain (kg) was converted to gestational age-standardized z scores. Multivariable modified Poisson regression models stratified by prepregnancy BMI were used to estimate associations between z scores and outcomes. A probabilistic bias analysis, informed by an internal validation study, evaluated the effect of BMI and weight gain misclassification.

RESULTS:Gestational weight gain z score was negatively associated with SGA and positively associated with LGA and cesarean delivery in all BMI groups. The relation between weight gain and preterm birth was U-shaped in nonobese women. An increased risk of infant death was observed for very low weight gain among normal-weight women and for high weight gain among women without obesity. Most excess risks of these outcomes were observed at weight gains at 37 weeks of gestation that are equivalent to less than 14 kg or more than 27 kg in underweight or normal-weight women, less than 11 kg or more than 28 kg in overweight women, and less than 6.4 kg or more than 26 kg in women with obesity. The bias analysis supported the validity of the conventional analysis.

CONCLUSION:Very low or very high weight gains were associated with the adverse outcomes we studied. If the associations we observed are even partially reflective of causality, targeted modification of pregnancy weight gain in women carrying twins might improve pregnancy outcomes.


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