DOI: 10.3148/cjdpr-2023-019 ISSN: 1486-3847

Maternal Eating Disorders and Adverse Birth Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Mantala Milembamane, Nadin M. Moussa, Jasna Twynstra, Jamie A. Seabrook
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • General Medicine
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Previous systematic reviews have reported on the relationship between eating disorders (EDs) and birth outcomes, but there are no existing meta-analyses on this topic. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines the association between lifetime maternal EDs, including anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge-eating disorder (BED) with low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth (PTB), small for gestational age (SGA), large for gestational age (LGA), and miscarriage. Four databases were systematically searched for quantitative literature on maternal EDs that preceded birth outcomes. Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The meta-analyses included 6 studies on miscarriage, 11 on PTB, 4 on LBW, 9 on SGA, and 4 on LGA. The Mantel–Haenszel random effects model was used to test the associations between EDs and birth outcomes. The results showed significant positive associations between AN and LBW (OR 1.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.49, 2.03), AN and SGA (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.17, 1.65), BN and PTB (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.04, 1.36), and BED and LGA (OR 1.43 95% CI 1.18, 1.72). EDs were not significantly correlated with miscarriage. These findings reveal the importance of screening for and treating EDs in pregnant women.

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