Anxiety and depressed mood in obese pregnant women: A prospective controlled cohort study

A.F.L. Bogaerts, R. Devlieger, E. Nuyts, I. Witters, W. Gyselaers, I. Guelinckx, B.R.H. Van den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The psychological health in obese women during pregnancy has been poorly studied. Objective: To compare levels of anxiety and depressed mood during pregnancy in obese versus normal-weight women.
63 obese pregnant women and 156 normal-weight controls were included prospectively before 15 weeks of gestation. Levels of state and trait anxiety and depressed mood were measured during the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy. A linear mixed-effect model with repeated measures was used to evaluate group differences.
The levels of state anxiety significantly increased from trimester 1 to trimester 3 in obese pregnant women (beta = 3.70; p = 0.007), while this parameter remained constant throughout pregnancy in normal-weight women. Levels of trait anxiety and depressed mood significantly decreased from trimester 1 to trimester 2 in controls, but not in obese pregnant women. Variables such as maternal education, ethnicity, marital state, psychological history and miscarriages, parity and smoking behaviour had significant effects on anxiety and/or depressed moods during pregnancy. Obese pregnant women show higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptomatology compared to normal-weight pregnant women.
Interventional programmes aiming at preventing the deleterious influence of maternal obesity on perinatal outcomes should include a psycho-educational program specifically tailored to this high-risk group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-164
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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