Objective:To investigate the association between overweight and severe acute maternal morbidity (SAMM) in a low-risk pregnant population.Design:Nationwide case-control study.Setting:The Netherlands, august 2004 to august 2006.Population:1567 cases from initially primary care and 2994 women from primary care practices as controls, out of 371 012 women delivering in the Netherlands during the study periodMethods:Cases were women with SAMM obtained from a nationwide prospective study. All women in this cohort who initially had low-risk pregnancies were compared with low-risk women without SAMM to calculate odd ratios (ORs) to develop SAMM by body mass index (BMI) category. We divided body mass index in three overweight categories and calculated the ORs (95% CI) of total SAMM and per specific endpoint by logistic regression, with normal weight as reference. We adjusted for age, parity and socio-economic status.Main Outcome Measures:SAMM, defined as Intensive Care Unit (ICU)-admission, Uterine Rupture, Eclampsia or Major Obstetric Haemorrhage (MOH)Results:SAMM was reported in 1567 cases which started as low-risk pregnancies. BMI was available in 1097 (70.0%) cases and 2994 control subjects were included. Analysis showed a dose response relation for overweight (aOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.5), obese (aOR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.9) and morbidly obese (aOR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3-3.2) women to develop SAMM compared to normal weight. Sub analysis showed the same dose response relation for ICU-admission, Uterine Rupture and Eclampsia. We found no association for MOH.Conclusion:Overweight without pre-existent co-morbidity is an important risk-indicator for developing SAMM. This risk increases with an increasing body mass index. © 2013 Witteveen et al.