Ethnic differences in postpartum weight retention: a Norwegian cohort study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2016, 123 (5), 699-708. 10.1111/1471-0528.13321
Objective To explore ethnic differences in weight retention 14 weeks postpartum. Design Population-based cohort study. Setting The STORK Groruddalen Study. Population A multi-ethnic cohort of healthy pregnant women attending primary antenatal care at three public Child Health Clinics, in Oslo, Norway (n = 642). Methods An explanatory linear regression was performed to model the relationship between ethnicity and postpartum weight retention. Forward selection of 12 explanatory factors was used to adjust for potential confounding factors, based on univariate analysis and adjusted R 2 . Main outcome measure Postpartum weight retention. Results Unadjusted mean postpartum weight retention was 2.3 (4.9) kg for women from Western Europe and varied from 3.7 (3.5) to 6.3 (4.7) kg among the five ethnic minority groups. The proportion of women in the highest quintile (postpartum weight retention >8.5–24.4 kg) significantly differed by ethnicity (P < 0.01 for the proportion of women from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa compared with Western Europeans). Women from all ethnic minority groups had a higher relative increase in weight from pre-pregnancy to postpartum (P < 0.01) compared with Western Europeans. After adjustments for significant exposures, women from the Middle East retained 2.0 kg (95% CI: 1.0–3.0), South Asia 2.8 kg (91.9–3.6), and Africa 4.4 kg (3.1–5.8) more than Western Europeans (P < 0.01). Conclusions Significantly more women with an ethnic origin from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa had high postpartum weight retention compared with Western European women.