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To determine the association of gestational weight gain (GWG) or pre-pregnancy BMI with postpartum weight retention (PPWR).
PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents Connects and Biosis Previews were used to search articles.
Publications that described the influence of pre-pregnancy BMI or GWG on PPWR.
Seventeen studies that satisfied the eligibility criteria were included in the analyses. Women with inadequate and excessive GWG had significantly lower mean PPWR of −2·14 kg (95 % CI –2·43, –1·85 kg) and higher PPWR of 3·21 kg (95 % CI 2·79, 3·62 kg), respectively, than women with adequate GWG. When postpartum time spans were stratified into 1–3 months, 3–6 months, 6–12 months, 12–36 months and ≥15 years, the association between inadequate GWG and PPWR faded over time and became insignificant (−1·42 kg; 95 % CI −3·08, 0·24 kg) after ≥15 years. However, PPWR in women with excess GWG exhibited a U-shaped trend; that is, a decline during the early postpartum time span (year 1) and then an increase in the following period. Meta-analysis of qualitative studies showed a significant relationship between excessive GWG and higher PPWR risk (OR=2·08; 95 % CI 1·60, 2·70). Moreover, meta-analysis of pre-pregnancy BMI on PPWR indicated that mean PPWR decreased with increasing BMI group.
These findings suggest that GWG, rather than pre-pregnancy BMI, determines the shorter- or longer-term PPWR.
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