Pregnancy outcome at age 40 and older

Angela Bianco, Joanne Stone, Lauren Lynch, Robert Lapinski, Gertrud Berkowitz, Richard L. Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

273 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine pregnancy outcome among women age 40 years and older. Methods: A retrospective cohort study, including 1404 pregnant women at least 40 years of age and 6978 controls age 20-29 years, was conducted. The two groups were stratified, according to parity, to facilitate separate analysis. Associations between maternal age and pregnancy outcomes were assessed with the contingency χ2 or two-tailed Fisher exact test. Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate these associations and allowed for calculation of adjusted odds ratios (OR). Results: Older gravidas were more likely to develop gestational diabetes (nulliparas: OR 2.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9-3.7; multiparas: OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.7-5.4), preeclampsia (nulliparas: OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3-2.6; multiparas: OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-2.9), and placenta previa (nulliparas: OR 13.0, 95% CI 4.8-35.0; multiparas: OR 6.4, 95% CI 2.6-15.6). Older women were also at increased risk for cesarean delivery (nulliparas: OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.6-3.7; multiparas: OR 3.3, 95% CI 2.6- 4.1), operative vaginal delivery (nulliparas: OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.9-2.9; multiparas: OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.9), and induction of labor (nulliparas: OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.8; multiparas: OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.7). Older nulliparas had an increased incidence of abnormal labor patterns (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2- 1.7), neonatal intensive care unit admissions (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2), and low 1-minute Apgar scores (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.9). Older multiparas were more likely to experience fetal distress (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.4-2.8), antepartum vaginal bleeding (OR 1.8, 95%. CI 1.1-3.1), and preterm premature rupture of membranes (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.9). Conclusion: Although maternal morbidity was increased in the older gravidas, the overall neonatal outcome did not appear to be affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-922
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


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