GSTF Journal of Nursing and Health Care (JNHC)

, 3:1

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The Impact of Obesity on Physiologic Indicators

  • Rebecca Jo HelmreichAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Health Science Center
  • , Janet C. MeiningerAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Health Science Center
  • , Nikhil S. PadhyeAffiliated withUTHealth School of Nursing
  • , M. Terese VerklanAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Medical Branch


Obesity results in an alteration in the stress response that often results in adverse perinatal outcomes. This study investigated physiologic changes in 21 obese and 20 overweight women during pregnancy and the impact on vagal response (heart period and respiratory sinus arrhythmia), oxygenation, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and systolic blood pressure at 20, 28 and 36 weeks of gestation. The impact of obesity on perinatal outcomes was investigated. Blood oxygen, systolic blood pressure, and HbA1c levels were significantly higher for the obese women as compared with overweight women. Monitoring physiologic mal-adaptation may permit early detection and intervention to improve perinatal outcomes.

vagal response

oxygenation blood pressure hemoglobin A1c obesity overweight pregnancy