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Health & Pregnancy

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Pregnancy After 40: Healthy Weight Improves Risk

Age, Obesity Both Affect Risks, but Losing Weight Before Conceiving May Help, Experts Say

Pregnancy After 40: Perspective

Some of the differences are not surprising, says Suzanne Lubarsky, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore. She reviewed the findings for WebMD.

"The diabetes part isn't surprising, because we know older women who are obese are going to have the highest rate," she tells WebMD.

The difference in the premature delivery rate was somewhat surprising, she says. "The C-section rate was somewhat surprising, although we know obesity is a risk factor for C-section."

The new data will provide much added support for advice that Lubarsky says she already gives to women 40-plus hoping to become pregnant. "Being at their ideal body weight [before pregnancy] optimizes their pregnancy and reduces their risks and the risks to their babies," she says.

Barton reports receiving research grants from Alere San Diego and Beckman Coulter Inc. Both grants are for the study of tests for preeclampsia.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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