Background and aims Pregnant adolescents have high rates of poor birth outcomes, but the causes are unclear. There is a very marked association between young age of mothers and low birth weight and preterm delivery and some of the apparent effect of young maternal age on birth weight may be because the birth is likely to be the mother’s first, and first births have a higher incidence of prematurity. The aim of present study was to investigate neonatal outcomes of teenage pregnancies controlling for parity, gestational age and perinatal interventions.
Methods A retrospective study comparing singleton deliveries classified into three teenage groups:12–15, 15–17, 18–19, and a comparison group of 24–29 years was performed in a secondary level Maternity Hospital in Mures County, Romania. For the adult group, 736 charts of mothers between the age of 24 and 29 delivering singleton babies were selected.
Results The study population consisted of 1 131 women, 75 12–15 years old, 163 16–17 years old, 157 18–19 years old, and 736 24–29 years old. A significant linear association was found between maternal age and preterm birth, low birth weight, and neonatal birth related trauma. Length of hospitalisation, as a marker of the healthcare costs involved in the care of these high risk cases, was significant associated with maternal age after controlling for perinatal interventions.
Conclusions Teenage pregnancy is a risk factor for low birth weight, preterm delivery, neonatal birth related trauma and high healthcare costs.
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