Background:To investigate whether the incidence of macrosomic fetuses, i.e. newborn with high birthweight, is increasing in Norway and other Nordic countries.
Materials and methods:The data were obtained from the Medical Birth Register in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The statistical program used was Excel.Macosomia is defined as birthweight of above 4.0 or 4,999 kg.The data on diabetes in pregnancy were also obtained from Medical Birth Register in Norway.
Results:In the last decade the proportion of newborns with a birthweight above 4 kg increased from 18 to 22 % and newborns above 4,5 kg increased from 3,25 to 4,75 % in Norway. The same trend was also seen in Sweden and Denmark, but after 1993 Finland however, showed a slight declining trend. The incidence of diabetes in pregnancy in Norway has increased by 180 % since 1988.
Discussion:The incidence of macrosomia has increased markedly in several Nordic countries the last 10 years.The increasing weight among women of fertile ages may be a major cause of increasing prevalence of macrosomia. Macrosomia may also be associated with a rise in the number of pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes.Macrosomia can cause severe fetal and maternal complications, such as intrauterine fetal death, shoulderdystocia and use of cesarean section.
In summary, modern life style (poor diet and physical inactivity) is not only leading to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in the general population, but may also adversely affect pregnancy and birth and, not at least, the health of the next generation.