Obstetrical and neonatal outcome in young adolescents of low socio-economic status: a case control study

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2005 Mar;271(3):207-11. doi: 10.1007/s00404-004-0600-7. Epub 2004 Mar 17.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine obstetrical and neonatal outcome among early adolescent pregnancies (< or =15 years).

Method: We compared obstetrical and neonatal outcome of early adolescent nulliparas with outcome of nulliparous women aged 20-30 years.

Results: Two hundred and one (201) early adolescent nulliparous patients of low socio-economic status were enrolled at the Enrique C. Sotomayor Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Guayaquil-Ecuador, and matched for gestational age with 201 low socio-economic nulliparous controls aged 20-30. Mean maternal age of the adolescent group was 14.2+/-0.6 years. The incidence of cervicovaginal infections during current pregnancy was significantly higher among adolescents (trichomoniasis: 11.4% vs. 5% and candidiasis: 27.8% vs. 12.4%, p<0.05). The incidence of eclampsia was higher in adolescents (2.5% vs. 0%, p<0.05). The preterm rate in each group was 4.9%. There were no differences in labor characteristics and the rate of cesarean section, labor complications and abnormal puerperium between both studied groups. Nevertheless, mean neonatal weight was lower and the incidence of low birth weight infants (<2,500 g) and adverse neonatal outcome was significantly higher in the adolescent group (2,837.6+/-454 g vs. 3,017+/-547 g; 19.9% vs. 11.4% [OR=1.92, 95% CI: 1-3.5] and 9.5% vs. 3.5% [OR=2.9, 95% CI: 1.1-7.7] respectively, p<0.05).

Conclusion: Pregnancy in young adolescents (< or =15 years) of low socio-economic status did not impose adverse obstetrical outcome, however it did increase the risk for low birth weight, adverse neonatal outcome and cervicovaginal infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Ecuador / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Social Class*
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / epidemiology