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Obese women 'risk IVF stillbirths'

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The risk of premature babies and stillbirths after IVF is linked to a women’s obesity levels, a study has found.

Study author Dr Barbara Luke, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Michigan State University, warns that the risks increase with weight, with the largest women having the lowest chance of success.

Her findings, presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) conference in Atlanta, resulted from a study of 50,000 women.

It found that the most obese women had 35% less chance of becoming pregnant and a 59% increased chance of giving birth to a very premature baby.

But women deemed overweight rather than obese are also at risk, with a 13% lower chance of giving birth to a live baby and a 16% increased risk of premature birth.

The study included 28,094 women of normal weight (body mass index 18.5 to 24.9), 11,710 overweight (25 to 29.9), 5,187 class I obese (30 to 34.9), 2,276 class II obese (35 to 39.9) and 1,415 class III obese (over 40).

Class I women had a 9% lower chance of becoming pregnant, a 20% lower chance of a live birth, double the risk of stillbirth and were 33% more likely to have a premature birth.

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