The associations of parity and maternal age with small-for-gestational-age, preterm, and neonatal and infant mortality: A meta-analysis

Naoko Kozuki, Anne Cc Lee, Mariangela F. Silveira, Ayesha Sania, Joshua P. Vogel, Linda Adair, Fernando Barros, Laura E. Caulfield, Parul Christian, Wafaie Fawzi, Jean Humphrey, Lieven Huybregts, Aroonsri Mongkolchati, Robert Ntozini, David Osrin, Dominique Roberfroid, James Tielsch, Anjana Vaidya, Robert E. Black, Joanne Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have reported on adverse neonatal outcomes associated with parity and maternal age. Many of these studies have relied on cross-sectional data, from which drawing causal inference is complex. We explore the associations between parity/maternal age and adverse neonatal outcomes using data from cohort studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Methods. Data from 14 cohort studies were included. Parity (nulliparous, parity 1-2, parity ≥3) and maternal age (<18 years, 18-<35 years, ≥35 years) categories were matched with each other to create exposure categories, with those who are parity 1-2 and age 18-<35 years as the reference. Outcomes included small-for-gestational-age (SGA), preterm, neonatal and infant mortality. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) were calculated per study and meta-analyzed. Results: Nulliparous, age <18 year women, compared with women who were parity 1-2 and age 18-<35 years had the highest odds of SGA (pooled adjusted OR: 1.80), preterm (pooled aOR: 1.52), neonatal mortality (pooled aOR: 2.07), and infant mortality (pooled aOR: 1.49). Increased odds were also noted for SGA and neonatal mortality for nulliparous/age 18-<35 years, preterm, neonatal, and infant mortality for parity ≥3/age 18-<35 years, and preterm and neonatal mortality for parity ≥3/≥35 years. Conclusions: Nulliparous women <18 years of age have the highest odds of adverse neonatal outcomes. Family planning has traditionally been the least successful in addressing young age as a risk factor; a renewed focus must be placed on finding effective interventions that delay age at first birth. Higher odds of adverse outcomes are also seen among parity ≥3 / age ≥35 mothers, suggesting that reproductive health interventions need to address the entirety of a woman's reproductive period. Funding. Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (810-2054) by a grant to the US Fund for UNICEF to support the activities of the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberS2
JournalBMC public health
Volume13
Issue numberSUPPL.3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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