Maternal medical disease: risk of antepartum fetal death

Semin Perinatol. 2002 Feb;26(1):42-50. doi: 10.1053/sper.2002.29838.


Although certain maternal medical conditions increase the risk of antepartum fetal death, improvements in medical and obstetric care have decreased the likelihood of stillbirth. This article examines the current stillbirth rates reported in pregnancies complicated by common medical diseases. The reported stillbirth rates are expressed as the number of stillbirths occurring at > or = 20 weeks of gestation per 1,000 births in patients with the condition. Overall, about 10% of all fetal deaths are related to maternal medical illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, systemic lupus erythematosus, chronic renal disease, thyroid disorders, and cholestasis of pregnancy. The early recognition of maternal medical diseases provides an opportunity for increased surveillance and interventions that may lead to more favorable pregnancy outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholestasis / complications
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / etiology*
  • Fetal Death / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Obesity / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Diseases / complications