• Are there sex differences in Fetal Abdominal Subcutaneous Tissue (FAST) measurements?

      Farah, Nadine; Stuart, Bernard; Harrold, Emily; Fattah, Chro; Kennelly, Mairead; Turner, Michael J; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To determine if Fetal Abdominal Subcutaneous Tissue (FAST) measurements using antenatal ultrasound differ between male and female fetuses. STUDY DESIGN: Women who had an ultrasound examination for fetal growth between 20 and 40 weeks gestation were studied. Women with diabetes mellitus were excluded. The fetal anterior abdominal subcutaneous tissue was measured on the anterior abdominal wall in millimetres anterior to the margins of the ribs, using magnification at the level of the abdominal circumference. The fetal sex was recorded after delivery. RESULTS: A total of 557 fetuses were measured, 290 male and 267 female. The FAST measurements increased with gestational age. The FAST increased at the same rate for both male and female fetuses and at any given week there was no sex difference. CONCLUSIONS: The increased fat composition in females reported after birth was not found in abdominal wall subcutaneous fat measurements using ultrasound during pregnancy. Antenatal centile charts for FAST do not need to be based on sex.
    • Body Mass Index (BMI) in women booking for antenatal care: comparison between selfreported and digital measurements.

      Fattah, Chro; Farah, Nadine; O'Toole, Fiona; Barry, Sinead; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: We set out to compare measurement of Body Mass Index (BMI) with selfreporting in women early in pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: We studied 100 women booking for antenatal care in the first trimester with a normal ongoing pregnancy. Selfreported maternal weight and height were recorded and the Body Mass Index was calculated. Afterwards maternal weight and height were digitally measured and actual BMI was calculated. RESULTS: If selfreporting is used for BMI classification, we found that 22% of women were classified incorrectly when BMI was measured. 12% of the women who were classified as having a normal selfreported BMI were overweight and 5% classified as overweight were obese. Similar findings have been reported outside pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: These findings have implications for clinical practice, and for research studies exploring the relationship between maternal adiposity and pregnancy complications.
    • Body mass index and blood pressure measurement during pregnancy.

      Hogan, Jennifer L; Maguire, Patrick; Farah, Nadine; Kennelly, Mairead M; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., Jennifer.Hogan@ucdconnect.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: The accurate measurement of blood pressure requires the use of a large cuff in subjects with a high mid-arm circumference (MAC). This prospective study examined the need for a large cuff during pregnancy and its correlation with maternal obesity. METHODS: Maternal body mass index (BMI), fat mass, and MAC were measured. RESULTS: Of 179 women studied, 15.6% were obese. With a BMI of level 1 obesity, 44% needed a large cuff and with a BMI of level 2 obesity 100% needed a large cuff. CONCLUSION: All women booking for antenatal care should have their MAC measured to avoid the overdiagnosis of pregnancy hypertension.
    • Body Mass Index and spontaneous miscarriage.

      Turner, Michael J; Fattah, Chro; O'Connor, Norah; Farah, Nadine; Kennelly, Mairead; Stuart, Bernard; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin 8, Ireland. michael.turner@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: We compared the incidence of spontaneous miscarriage in women categorised as obese, based on a Body Mass Index (BMI) >29.9 kg/m(2), with women in other BMI categories. STUDY DESIGN: In a prospective observational study conducted in a university teaching hospital, women were enrolled at their convenience in the first trimester after a sonogram confirmed an ongoing singleton pregnancy with fetal heart activity present. Maternal height and weight were measured digitally and BMI calculated. Maternal body composition was measured by advanced bioelectrical impedance analysis. RESULTS: In 1200 women, the overall miscarriage rate was 2.8% (n=33). The mean gestational age at enrolment was 9.9 weeks. In the obese category (n=217), the miscarriage rate was 2.3% compared with 3.3% in the overweight category (n=329), and 2.3% in the normal BMI group (n=621). There was no difference in the mean body composition parameters, particularly fat mass parameters, between those women who miscarried and those who did not. CONCLUSIONS: In women with sonographic evidence of fetal heart activity in the first trimester, the rate of spontaneous miscarriage is low and is not increased in women with BMI>29.9 kg/m(2) compared to women in the normal BMI category.
    • A comparison of maternal and paternal body mass index in early pregnancy.

      Kelly, Ross; Farah, Nadine; O'Connor, Norah; Kennelly, Mairead; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2011-04)
       To determine the body mass index (BMI) and the body composition of fathers-to-be and to compare the findings with those of mothers-to-be during early pregnancy.
    • The influence of maternal body composition on birth weight.

      Farah, Nadine; Stuart, Bernard; Donnelly, Valerie; Kennelly, Mairead M; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin, Ireland. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To identify the maternal body composition parameters that independently influence birth weight. STUDY DESIGN: A longitudinal prospective observational study in a large university teaching hospital. One hundred and eighty-four non-diabetic caucasian women with a singleton pregnancy were studied. In early pregnancy maternal weight and height were measured digitally in a standardised way and the body mass index (BMI) was calculated. At 28 and 37 weeks' gestation maternal body composition was assessed using segmental multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis. At delivery the baby was weighed and the clinical details were recorded. RESULTS: Of the women studied, 29.2% were overweight and 34.8% were obese. Birth weight did not correlate with maternal weight or BMI in early pregnancy. Birth weight correlated with gestational weight gain (GWG) before the third trimester (r=0.163, p=0.027), but not with GWG in the third trimester. Birth weight correlated with maternal fat-free mass, and not fat mass at 28 and 37 weeks gestation. Birth weight did not correlate with increases in maternal fat and fat-free masses between 28 and 37 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to previous reports, we found that early pregnancy maternal BMI in a non-diabetic population does not influence birth weight. Interestingly, it was the GWG before the third trimester and not the GWG in the third trimester that influenced birth weight. Our findings have implications for the design of future intervention studies aimed at optimising gestational weight gain and birth weight. CONDENSATION: Maternal fat-free mass and gestational weight gain both influence birth weight.
    • Maternal leptin and body composition in the first trimester of pregnancy.

      Fattah, Chro; Barry, Sinead; O'connor, Norah; Farah, Nadine; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Leptin is produced mainly by adipocytes. Levels are increased in women with obesity and during pregnancy. Increased levels are also associated with pregnancy complications such as, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus. OBJECTIVE: We studied what component of body composition correlated best with maternal leptin in the first trimester of pregnancy and, whether maternal leptin correlated better with visceral fat rather than fat distributed elsewhere. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Women were recruited in the first trimester. Maternal adiposity was measured using body mass index and advanced bioelectrical impedance analysis. Maternal leptin was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. RESULTS: Of the 100 subjects studied, the mean leptin concentration was 37.7 ng/ml (range: 2.1-132.8). Leptin levels did not correlate with gestational age in the first trimester, maternal age, parity or birth weight. Serum leptin correlated positively with maternal weight and body mass index, and with the different parameters of body composition. On multiple regression analysis, serum leptin correlated with visceral fat but not fat distributed elsewhere. CONCLUSIONS: Visceral fat is the main determinant of circulating maternal leptin in the first trimester of pregnancy. This raises the possibility that maternal leptin in early pregnancy may be a marker for the development of metabolic syndrome, including diabetes mellitus.
    • Maternal morbid obesity and obstetric outcomes.

      Farah, Nadine; Maher, Niamh; Barry, Sinead; Kennelly, Mairead; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to review pregnancy outcomes in morbidly obese women who delivered a baby weighing 500 g or more in a large tertiary referral university hospital in Europe. METHODS: Morbid obesity was defined as a BMI > or =40.0 kg/m2 (WHO). Only women whose BMI was calculated at their first antenatal visit were included. The obstetric out-comes were obtained from the hospital's computerised database. RESULTS: The incidence of morbid obesity was 0.6% in 5,824 women. Morbidly obese women were older and were more likely to be multigravidas than women with a normal BMI. The pregnancy was complicated by hypertension in 35.8% and diabetes mellitus in 20.0% of women. Obstetric interventions were high, with an induction rate of 42.1% and a caesarean section rate of 45.3%. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that maternal morbid obesity is associated with an alarmingly high incidence of medical complications and an increased level of obstetric interventions. Consideration should be given to developing specialised antenatal services for morbidly obese women. The results also highlight the need to evaluate the effectiveness of prepregnancy interventions in morbidly obese women.
    • Maternal weight and body composition in the first trimester of pregnancy.

      Fattah, Chro; Farah, Nadine; Barry, Sinead C; O'Connor, Norah; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: Previous studies on weight gain in pregnancy suggested that maternal weight on average increased by 0.5-2.0 kg in the first trimester of pregnancy. This study examined whether mean maternal weight or body composition changes in the first trimester of pregnancy. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. POPULATION: We studied 1,000 Caucasian women booking for antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy. SETTING: Large university teaching hospital. METHODS: Maternal height and weight were measured digitally in a standardized way and Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated. Maternal body composition was measured using segmental multifrequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Sonographic examination confirmed the gestational age and a normal ongoing singleton pregnancy in all subjects. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternal weight, maternal body composition. RESULTS: The mean BMI was 25.7 kg/m(2) and 19.0% of the women were in the obese category (> or =30.0 kg/m(2)). Cross-sectional analysis by gestational age showed that there was no change in mean maternal weight, BMI, total body water, fat mass, fat-free mass or bone mass before 14 weeks gestation. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to previous reports, mean maternal weight and mean body composition values remain unchanged in the first trimester of pregnancy. This has implications for guidelines on maternal weight gain during pregnancy. We also recommend that calculation of BMI in pregnancy and gestational weight gain should be based on accurate early pregnancy measurements, and not on self-reported or prepregnancy measurements.
    • Prospective risk of fetal death in uncomplicated monochorionic twins.

      Farah, Nadine; Hogan, Jennifer; Johnson, Sucheta; Stuart, Bernard; Daly, Sean; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-03)
      A retrospective cohort study was carried out in a university teaching hospital to determine the prospective risk of unexpected fetal death in uncomplicated monochorionic diamniotic (MCDA) twin pregnancies after viability. All MCDA twins delivered at or after 24 weeks' gestation from July 1999 to July 2007 were included. Pregnancies with twin-twin transfusion syndrome, growth restriction, structural abnormalities, or twin reversed arterial perfusion sequence were excluded. Of the 144 MCDA twin pregnancies included in our analysis, the risk of intrauterine death was 4.9%. The prospective risk of unexpected intrauterine death was 1 in 43 after 32 weeks' gestation and 1 in 37 after 34 weeks' gestation. Our results demonstrate that despite close surveillance, the unexpected intrauterine death rate in uncomplicated MCDA twin pregnancies is high. This rate seems to increase after 34 weeks' gestation, suggesting that a policy of elective preterm delivery warrants evaluation.
    • The role of thromboxane A(2) in the pathogenesis of intrauterine growth restriction associated with maternal smoking in pregnancy.

      Lynch, Caoimhe M; O'Kelly, Ruth; Stuart, Bernard; Treumann, Achim; Conroy, Ronan; Regan, Carmen L; Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., caoimhemlynch@eircom.net (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: To examine the effect of maternal smoking in pregnancy on the production of two eicosanoids, thromboxane A(2) and prostacyclin I2, and their role in the pathogenesis of intrauterine growth restriction. METHODS: Prospective case control study enrolled smoking and non-smoking women at
    • Ultrasound assessment of placental function: the effectiveness of placental biometry in a low-risk population as a predictor of a small for gestational age neonate.

      McGinty, Patricia; Farah, Nadine; Dwyer, Vicky O; Hogan, Jennifer; Reilly, Amanda; Turner, Michael J; Stuart, Bernard; Kennelly, Máireád M; Ultrasound and Fetal Medicine Centre, Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-07)
      The aims of the study were to establish reference ranges for placental length and thickness in a low-risk obstetric population and to assess the likelihood of a small for gestational age (SGA) neonate on the basis of placental length at 18-24 weeks' gestation.