Does attendance at a specialist antenatal clinic improve clinical outcomes in women with class III obesity compared with standard care? A retrospective case-note analysis

Fiona C Denison, Heather MacGregor, Laura I Stirrat, Kerrie Stevenson, Jane E Norman, Rebecca M Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether attendance at a specialised multidisciplinary antenatal clinic for women with class III obesity (BMI >40 kg/m2) is associated with improved clinical outcomes compared with standard antenatal care.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using routinely collected data from electronic patient record.

SETTING: Community and hospital based antenatal care.

PARTICIPANTS: Women with a singleton pregnancy with class III obesity booked for antenatal care and delivered in one of two hospitals in NHS Lothian, Scotland, UK between 2008 and 2014. Maternal and offspring outcomes were compared in women who attended a specialised obesity clinic (n=511) compared with standard antenatal care (n=502).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Included stillbirth, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, induction of labour and caesarean section.

RESULTS: Compared with standard care, women receiving specialist care were less likely to have a stillbirth (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.97) and a low birthweight baby (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.99) and more likely to be screened for (100% vs 73.6%; p<0.001) and diagnosed with (26.0% vs 12.5%; p<0.001) gestational diabetes, to require induction of labour (38.4% vs 29.9%; p=0.009), an elective (20.3% vs 17.7%; p<0.001) and emergency (23.9% vs 20.3%; p<0.001) caesarean section and attend antenatal triage one or more times during pregnancy (77.7% vs 53.1%; p<0.001). Women attending the specialist clinic had a higher BMI (44.5 kg/m2 (4.3) vs 43.2 kg/m2 (3.1); p<0.001) and were more likely to be nulliparous (46.0% vs 24.9%; p<0.001). There were no other differences in maternal demographic or maternal and offspring outcomes between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Attendance at a specialised antenatal clinic for obesity is associated with reduced rates of stillbirth and low birth weight and improved detection of gestational diabetes. The improvement in clinical outcomes is associated with an increase in healthcare attendance to obstetric triage and clinical interventions including induction of labour and caesarean section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e015218
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.


  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section/statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetes, Gestational/epidemiology
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal Health
  • Obesity/complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Outcome/epidemiology
  • Prenatal Care/methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scotland/epidemiology


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