Springer Nature

The role of maternal age on the risk of preterm birth among singletons and multiples: a retrospective cohort study in Lombardy, Norther Italy

Posted on 2022-03-23 - 04:32
Abstract Background All over the world, especially in the developed countries, maternal age at birth is rising. This study aimed to assess the role of maternal age on the occurrence of preterm birth (PTB) in a large birth cohort of Lombardy Region, Northern Italy. Methods This population-based study used data from regional healthcare utilization databases of Lombardy to identify women who delivered between 2007 and 2017. PTBs were defined as births before 37 completed weeks of gestation and considered according to the gestational age (two categories: < 32 weeks and 32 to 36 weeks). Six maternal age groups were defined (< 20, 20–24, 25–29, 30–34, 35–39, ≥40 years). Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate the crude and adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) for PTB among different maternal age groups. Analyses were separately performed according to type of pregnancy (singletons and multiples). Reference group was the age group with the lowest frequency of PTB. Results Overall, 49,759 (6.6%) PTBs were observed, of which 41,807 were singletons and 7952 were multiples. Rates of PTB were lowest in the women aged 25–29 years among singletons and in the 30–34 years old group among multiples. Our results described a U-shaped association between maternal age and risk of PTB. In particular, the risk of a singleton PTB between 32 and 36 weeks was significantly higher for women aged less than 20 years (aOR = 1.16, CI 95%: 1.04–1.30) and more than 40 years (aOR = 1.62 CI 95%: 1.54–1.70). The highest risk of a multiple delivery between 32 and 36 weeks was observed among women aged less than 25 years and more than 40 years (aOR = 1.79, CI 95%: 1.01–3.17, aOR = 1.47, CI 95%: 1.16–1.85 and aOR = 1.36, CI 95%: 1.19–1.55 respectively for < 20, 20–24 and > 40 age categories). PTB before 32 completed weeks occurred more frequently in the same age categories, except that among multiples no association with advanced maternal age emerged. Conclusion Our study suggested that, after adjustment for potential confounders, both advance and young maternal age were associated with an increased risk of PTB.


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