Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate differences in body composition and fat distribution between women with previous pre-eclampsia or small-for-gestational-age (SGA) offspring and those with uncomplicated pregnancies. DESIGN: Cohort study. SETTING: Population-based study in a genetically isolated population in the southwest of the Netherlands. POPULATION: Women after pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia (n=45), SGA offspring (n=53) and uncomplicated pregnancies (n=106). METHODS: Women were compared for body composition and fat distribution variables, assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and anthropometrics at a mean follow-up time of 10.8 (SD +/- 5.9) years after pregnancy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total lean and fat mass, android fat mass, gynoid fat mass, android-to-gynoid fat ratio, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio. RESULTS: Women with previous pre-eclampsia compared with controls had higher mean total fat mass index (11.5 +/- 0.6 versus 9.7 +/- 0.4 kg/m(2); P = 0.03), lean mass index (15.8 +/- 0.3 versus 14.5 +/- 0.2 kg/m(2); P =0.001) and body mass index ([BMI]; 28.4 +/- 0.8 versus 25.4 +/- 0.5 kg/m(2); P = 0.005). Their waist circumferences (90.7 +/- 2.0 versus 78.5 +/- 1.3 cm; P < 0.001) and waist-to-hip ratios (0.86 +/- 0.01 versus 0.77 +/- 0.01; P < 0.001) were also higher as well as android fat mass (2.8 +/- 0.2 versus 2.1 +/- 0.1 kg; P = 0.01) and android-to-gynoid fat ratios (0.45 +/- 0.02 versus 0.39 +/- 0.01; P = 0.02). Mean total fat, lean and BMI was not significantly different between women with previous SGA offspring and controls, yet waist-to-hip ratios (0.83 +/- 0.01; P < 0.001) were higher. The observed differences in waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and gynoid fat mass could not be attributed to differences in BMI. CONCLUSION: Women with previous pre-eclampsia or SGA offspring pregnancies compared with those with uncomplicated pregnancies have a preferential fat accumulation in the abdominal over hip region, which may explain, at least partly, their increased cardiovascular risk.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





442 - 451


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Adipose Tissue, Humans, Pre-Eclampsia, Body Weight, Absorptiometry, Photon, Body Mass Index, Body Height, Cohort Studies, Body Composition, Pregnancy, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Small for Gestational Age, Female