While maternal obesity does not appear to impact infant mortality among whites, the opposite may be true among blacks, according to the June Obstretics & Gynecology.
Investigators studied more than 1.4 million births in Missouri from 1978 to 1997. Among all women, the risk of neonatal death and early neonatal death was 20% greater than that of only non-obese women.
However, the risk of infant mortality linked to maternal obesity that increased significantly with rising BMI was found among blacks, while there was no greater risk of neonatal deaths for obese white mothers compared to non-obese white mothers.
The researchers stated that more study is needed to discover the factors involved in a potential black-white disparity linking neonatal deaths and maternal obesity.