Anorexia during pregnancy and premature delivery

Results presented today at ESHRE’s 38th Annual Meeting also showed a significantly increased risk of preterm birth (298%) and more than double the chance of placental abruption (341%). This was compared to mothers without anorexia, which is often a lifelong mental health condition.

IdoFeferkorn, MD from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, will outline the details of the analysis. It is based on data from more than 9 million women with and without anorexia, a serious mental disorder characterized by hunger and malnutrition.


Dr Feferkorn described the findings of the incidence in small-for-gestational-age infants in particular as “astonishingly higher” when compared with outcomes for children of women of healthy weight. .

The link between eating disorders and complications during pregnancy

Eating disorders can affect menstruation, but women with anorexia still conceive naturally or with the help of fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation.. Dr Feferkorn said the results of the study conveyed a serious health message about the management of these patients during and after pregnancy.

“Many fertility specialists are faced with the dilemma of treating malnourished women who conceive,” he said.

The data comes from a large public database of US hospital inpatient care records. All births between 2004 and 2014 were included involving women diagnosed with anorexia during pregnancy (n = 214) and those without (n = 9,096,574)

Overall, results showed significant adverse pregnancy outcomes for women with anorexia.

In addition, they showed that these people were more likely to have a mental problem other than an eating disorder, smoke, have thyroid disease, be white, or have a higher income.

There were no differences in rates for other conditions that may affect women during pregnancy. These include hypertension, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, postpartum hemorrhage, and bacterial chorioamnionitis. The need for cesarean delivery is not greater in women without a diagnosis of anorexia.

The study’s limitations include the fact that the authors were unable to assess the severity of anorexia, nor adherence to treatment.

A broader implication of those findings is, Dr. Feferkorn said Women should be tested for anorexia before fertility treatmentCurrent evidence suggests that most doctors fail to do so.


1. Anorexia is associated with significant adverse pregnancy outcomes – (

Source: Eurekalert

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