The role of maternal obesity in infant outcomes in polycystic ovary syndrome—A systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression

Mahnaz Bahri Khomami, Anju E. Joham, Jacqueline A. Boyle, Terhi Piltonen, Chavy Arora, Michael Silagy, Marie L. Misso, Helena J. Teede, Lisa J. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with worsened pregnancy and infant outcomes, higher body mass index (BMI), and longitudinal weight gain. Despite most of the clinical features of PCOS being risk factors for worsened infant outcomes in the general population, their impact on infant outcomes in PCOS is unknown. We aimed to investigate the association of PCOS with infant outcomes considering maternal adiposity, other known risk factors, and potential confounders. The meta-analyses included 42 studies in 7041 women with PCOS and 63 722 women without PCOS. PCOS was associated with higher gestational weight gain (GWG) and with higher preterm birth and large for gestational age and with lower birth weight with this association varying by geographic continent, PCOS phenotypes, and study quality. However, PCOS was associated with none of these outcomes on BMI-matched studies. Gestational diabetes was significantly associated with an increased preterm birth on meta-regression. We report for the first time that GWG is higher in PCOS. Infant outcomes vary by geographic continent and study quality but are similar in BMI-matched women with and without PCOS. This suggests that infant outcomes in PCOS may be related to maternal obesity. These novel findings warrant future studies in PCOS investigating screening and management of infant outcomes with consideration of maternal obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-858
Number of pages17
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • birth weight
  • obesity
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • pregnancy

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