Perinatal outcome in grand and great-grand multiparity: effects of parity on obstetric risk factors

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Sep;181(3):669-74. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(99)70511-9.


Objective: We sought to compare obstetric and neonatal complications among great-grand multiparous, grand multiparous, and multiparous women.

Study design: One hundred thirty-three great-grand multiparas, 314 grand multiparas, and 2195 multiparas who were delivered of their infants between 1988 and 1998 were selected for the study. To facilitate comparison, the patients were all >35 years old and had similar socioeconomic characteristics.

Results: The incidence of malpresentation at the time of delivery, maternal obesity, anemia, preterm delivery, and meconium-stained amniotic fluid increased with higher parity, whereas the rate of excessive weight gain and cesarean delivery decreased. Compared with grand multiparas, great-grand multiparas had significantly elevated risks for abnormal amounts of amniotic fluid, abruptio placentae, neonatal tachypnea, and malformations but lower rates of placenta previa (P <.05). The incidence of postpartum hemorrhage, preeclampsia, placenta previa, macrosomia, postdate pregnancy, and low Apgar scores was significantly higher in grand multiparas than in multiparas, whereas the proportion of induction, forceps delivery, and total labor complications was significantly lower than in the multiparous group (P <.05). Similar frequency of maternal diabetes, infection, uterine wall scar rupture, variations in fetal heart rate, fetal death, and neonatal mortality was found in the 3 groups.

Conclusion: Both high-parity groups have their own risk factors, but the rate of some complications decreases with higher parity. In addition, perinatal mortality remains low in these patients, and therefore, under satisfactory socioeconomic and health care conditions, high parity should not be considered dangerous.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Labor Presentation
  • Meconium
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / epidemiology
  • Parity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Weight Gain