LONDON - Extremely underweight women are 72percent more likely to have a miscarriage in the first three months of pregnancy.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also found that eating fruit, vegetables and chocolate could reduce the risk of miscarriage among underweight women.
The detailed study examined the association between biological, behavioural and lifestyle risk factors and the likelihood of miscarriage, which affects about 250000 women annually.
The research also revealed the two-thirds of women who took vitamin supplements early in their pregnancy reduced the miscarriage risk by about a half.
The effect is most pronounced in women who regularly took folic acid, or iron and multivitamins.
A daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables also halved the odds.
Eating chocolate also appeared to lower the likelihood of a miscarriage.
The study said single women were more likely to miscarry than those married or living with a partner.
If a woman changed her partner - after being made pregnant by him - the odds of miscarriage rose by about 60percent.
Women who had undergone a termination of pregnancy, and those who had in vitrofertilisation treatment, were also in a higher risk group.
The study found that having a planned pregnancy lessened the odds of a miscarriage, though women who took more than a year to conceive were twice as likely to miscarry compared with women who became pregnant within three months.
The study looked at 600 women who had miscarried and at more than 6000 whose pregnancy had passed the 12-week mark. - Reuters