oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Obesity and its outcome among South African pregnant adolescents : brief reports

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Obesity is an epidemic that affects all age groups, including adolescents. Obesity studies on pregnant adolescents are few in number. This pilot study was conducted to determine the obesity prevalence and complications among pregnant South African adolescents. A retrospective review of 54 pregnant adolescents was carried out over a two-month period at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Adolescents were divided into different body mass index categories, and the data were compared. Descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation, and median and interquartile range) and inferential statistics (unpaired t-test and analysis of variance) were analysed. Twenty-six per cent of the adolescents were obese. Six per cent of the adolescents were morbidly obese, and experienced greater pregnancy complications, such as post-dates pregnancies, preterm labour, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and induction of labour. Obesity among pregnant South African adolescents is common, and is associated with increased complications.

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