News Release

Association between weight-loss surgery in women and risk of birth defects in infants

Peer-Reviewed Publication

JAMA Network

Bottom Line: Researchers used national registry data in Sweden to examine the risk of major birth defects in infants born to women who had gastric bypass surgery compared with infants born to women who didn't have the surgery but were similar based on other factors including maternal body mass index and diabetes. The analysis included 2,921 women who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and 30,573 women who didn't for comparison. Infants born to women who had gastric bypass surgery had lower risk of major birth defects. Study authors speculate that surgery-induced improvements in glucose control and other benefits associated with weight loss may contribute to reducing the risk of major birth defects. Limitations of the study include pregnancy termination data that was unavailable, not including stillbirths and individual birth defects couldn't be analyzed.

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Authors: Martin Neovius, Ph.D., Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and coauthors.


Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Martin Neovius, Ph.D., email The full study is linked to this news release.

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