Early Parturition: Is Young Maternal Age at First Birth Associated with Obesity?

Loral Patchen, Jeannie Marie Leoutsakos, Nan M. Astone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective Examine the association of age at first birth with body mass index (BMI), and explore the role of young maternal age and subsequent obesity. Design, Setting, Participants, and Interventions This study analyzed data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative longitudinal study of US families. Analyses were conducted using a mixed effects longitudinal linear regression with a random intercept to examine the effect of aging, age at first birth, and minority status using nested data. Study criteria yielded a final sample of 146 women with 707 observations. Main Outcome Measures BMI. Results Age at first birth exhibited a significant association with BMI. The association of age at first birth with BMI was greatest for women age 21 and younger. Overall, women who experienced their first birth at age 21 or younger had a BMI 5 units greater than women who delayed childbearing until at least age 30 (point estimate, 5.02; P =.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.65–9.40). Conclusion Young maternal age at first birth might be associated with increased BMI. Minority women also experience their first birth at younger ages compared with white women, suggesting possible linkages between the timing of reproductive events and obesity disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy in adolescence
  • Reproductive behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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