|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 55-58
Weight status among pregnant women in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia
Bandar Abdullah Al-Asmari1, Safar A Alsaleem2, Abdullah M Al Shahrani3, Yahia M Al Khaldi1, Muneera M Alqahtani4, Tahani M Alhamdan4
1 Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Aseer Region, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, University of Bisha, Bisha, Saudi Arabia
4 Administration of Nursing, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Aseer Region, Saudi Arabia
|Date of Web Publication||16-Dec-2015|
Bandar Abdullah Al-Asmari
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Directorate General of Health Affairs
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Obesity is one of the most common chronic diseases in Saudi community that affecting all ages and both genders. Objectives: The aim of this study is to estimate the weight status of pregnant women and its associated factors in Aseer Region, Saudi Arabia. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted on pregnant women who were follow at antenatal clinics in primary health care center (PHCC) in Aseer Region during the period (3 rd to 7 th of November 2013). Data collection sheet was designed by the investigators to achieve the aim of this study. Working nurses in the antenatal care clinics were given written instructions regarding the objective, the importance of this study and how to measure the weight and how to fill data collection sheet properly. Data were coded and then entered into a personal computer provided with SPSS. Results: A total of 800 pregnant women attended PHCCs during the period of study. The mean age was 29.4 6.3 years and about 50% of them were between 26 and 35 years old. Saudi represents the vast majority, and 85% of them were housewives. Mean of gravidity and parity were 4 and 2.5 respectively. Mean gestational age was 20 weeks, and rate of obesity and overweight were 32% and 38%, respectively. Conclusion: This study revealed that most of the pregnant women attending PHCC in Aseer Region were overweight or obese. Obesity rate increased significantly with advanced age and parity.
Keywords: Aseer Region, obesity, pregnancy, Saudi Arabia
|How to cite this article:|
Al-Asmari BA, Alsaleem SA, Al Shahrani AM, Al Khaldi YM, Alqahtani MM, Alhamdan TM. Weight status among pregnant women in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia. Saudi J Obesity 2015;3:55-8
|How to cite this URL:|
Al-Asmari BA, Alsaleem SA, Al Shahrani AM, Al Khaldi YM, Alqahtani MM, Alhamdan TM. Weight status among pregnant women in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia. Saudi J Obesity [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Mar 27];3:55-8. Available from: https://www.saudijobesity.com/text.asp?2015/3/2/55/171957
| Introduction|| |
Obesity is the most prevalent chronic medical condition world widely.  More than 75% of Saudi citizens have overweight and obesity according to many published national studies and surveys conducted in Saudi Arabia during the last two decades. ,,,,,, Many causes were mentioned in some of these studies mainly sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diet intake. ,,, The burden of obesity on all people whatever the gender is rising. However, more complex and serious among pregnant women due to its effects on both mothers and fetuses.  These effects include gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, thromboembolism, and antepartum stillbirth.  The aims of this study were to explore the weight status among pregnant women in Aseer Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to know the area to intervene.
| Methodology|| |
This study was conducted during the period (3 rd to 7 th of November 2013) in all primary health care centers (PHCCs) in Aseer Region, Southwest of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Aseer Region, there are 270 PHCCs through which all health services including antenatal care are introduced to all citizens free of charge. Antenatal care services introduced based on national recommendations issued by the ministry of health by well-trained nurses and doctors.
Data collection sheet was designed by the investigators. It included the following: Age of patient, nationality, job, gravidity, parity, history of previous abortions, gestational age in weeks, weight and height at the first visit to calculate body mass index (BMI), weight at the current visit to notify any weight change since first visit, blood pressure checkup for unknown hypertension, history of hypertension or diabetes, history of previous lower segment caesarian section (LSCS) and hemoglobin status (anemia) by review pregnant women lab results.
Working nurses in the antenatal care clinic were given written instructions regarding the objective, the importance of this study and how to measure weight and how to fill data collection sheet properly.
After 1 week, all data collection sheets from all centers were sent by mail to the principal investigator. Data were coded and then entered into a personal computer provided with statistical package of social sciences (SPSS) version 15.
Weight status was classified based on BMI in kg/m 2 as following: Underweight (BMI under 18.5), normal weight (18.5-24.9), overweight (25-29.9), obesity class-I (30-34.9), obesity class-II (35-39.9), and obesity class-III (≥40).
Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS; appropriate tests were used accordingly, and P values were considered when their values were <0.05.
| Results|| |
A total of 800 pregnant women attended PHCCs during the period of study. The mean age was 29.4 ± 6.3 years and about 50% of them were between 26 and 35 years old. Saudi represents the vast majority, and 85% of them were housewives. Mean of gravidity and parity were 4 and 2.5 respectively while 29% had past history of abortion. Mean gestational age was 20 weeks [Table 1]. Regarding weight status at the first trimester, 7% of participants suffered from underweight, 26% had overweight, and 36% had obesity of different grades. In the second trimester, 2% were having underweight, 36% had overweight while obesity was 37% [Table 2].
|Table 1: Demographic and pregnancy variables of women attending PHCC in Aseer Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013|
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|Table 2: Association between weight status and some variables among pregnant women Aseer Region, 2013|
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[Table 2] shows the association between weight status and sociodemographic/pregnancy-related variables. Non-Saudi female were more obese than Saudi (50% vs. 38%) but insignificant, rate of overweight and obesity increase significantly with age (P = 0.00), gravidity (P = 0.00), and gestational age (P = 0009). It was obvious that those pregnant women with previous LSCS were more obese than their counteract (49% vs. 36%, P = 0.001). About one-fifth of women were found to have anemia with more prevalent among those with normal weight (34%, P = 0.04).
| Discussion|| |
This study shows increasing in the BMI among pregnant women. Overweight, obesity grade 1, obesity grade 2 and morbid obesity were 30%, 20%, 10%, and 5%, respectively. These results compare to the most studies conducted on this issue at the national and international level are similar to some extend such as mentioned by Meher-Un-Nisa et al. that mentioned the obesity grade 1, obesity grade 2 and morbid obesity were 33%, 30%, and 4.5% respectively.
A retrospective case-control study carried by Kumari  indicated that nearly 40% of the married female are obese in the United Arab Emirates. In Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al-Nuaim  reported 29.4% and 27% of female are Overweight and obese respectively. These indictors as female gender reflected the needs of intervention as early as possible. In this study, as the gravity increased, the BMI increased dramatically, especially in whose more than gravida six. Older pregnant women were obese than younger which is similar to that observed by El-Gilany and El-Wehady.  It was found that women with past LSCS were more obese (49%) which similar to that figure reported by Hammad and El-Gilany.  In this regard, it could be stated that obese pregnant are more probably to undergo LSCS which need more special care and preparation in late pregnancy.
On the other side, it was observed that 3% of pregnant women were underweight which make them at high risk of maternal and fetal complications such as infection, and vitamins/mineral deficiency. In this regard, these women should be detected earlier in pregnancy, and appropriate dietary counseling and intervention are recommended. About, 20% of pregnant women were found to have anemia (hemoglobin <11.5 g/dl). This figure is less than reported by Mahfouz et al. in 1992 (31.9%).  The most affected women were those with normal body weight (34%) compared to those with overweight (29%) and obesity (33%). These findings could indicate that pregnant women suffer from different malnutrition disorders, which could be related to imbalanced diet and unhealthy dietary habits in Saudi community.
| Conclusion|| |
This study revealed that most of pregnant women attending PHCC in Aseer Region were overweight or obese which indicated the importance of primary prevention (health education program) and secondary prevention (screening) regarding obesity and its associated health problems as early as possible particularly during premarital and preconception stages.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2]