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    Babies of young teens at high risk of complications

    Risks of preterm delivery, low and very low birthweight, and death are higher in babies born to young teens than to older teens and young adults. The findings, from a population-based study presented at the NASPAG 29th Annual Clinical Research Meeting, may help clinicians counsel and care for the youngest mothers throughout pregnancy and delivery.

    More: ICD-10 coding for pregnancy complications

    Researchers from the University of Washington analyzed data on singleton births at 24 to 43 weeks to nulliparas in Washington State from 1987 to 2009 for the retrospective report. They compared method of delivery and secondary outcomes in adolescents aged 11 to 14, teens aged 18 to 19, and young adults aged 20 to 24. Secondary outcomes reviewed were postpartum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, third- and fourth-degree perineal lacerations, chorioamnionitis, maternal length of stay, gestational age at delivery, birthweight, respiratory distress syndrome, neonatal length of stay, and neonatal and infant death.  Multivariate logistic regression was used to look at the association between age and delivery outcomes.

    For adolescents aged 11 to 14, risk of cesarean and operative vaginal delivery was lower but maternal length of stay was increased compared with women aged 20 to 24 (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.58-0.78; OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72-0.84; and OR 1.52; 95% CI, 1.33-1.74, respectively). Young adolescents also had increased rates of preterm delivery (OR, 2.11; 95% CI 1.79-2.48), low and very-low-birthweight (OR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.73-2.50 and OR, 3.25; 95% CI 2.22-4.77, respectively), and infant death (OR 3.09; 95% CI, 2.36-6.44). 

    NEXT: Teens and OTC contraceptives

    Judith M. Orvos, ELS
    Judith M. Orvos, ELS, is a a BELS-certified medical writer and editor and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN.

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