Recurrence risk for preterm delivery

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Jun;196(6):576.e1-6; discussion 576.e6-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.01.039.


Objective: To estimate recurrence risk of preterm delivery in third births.

Study design: We conducted a population-based cohort study of Missouri mothers who delivered 3 consecutive singleton live births during 1989-1997. The recurrence risk was computed for 4 cohorts based on prior preterm delivery status and adjusted using Mantel-Haenszel stratified analysis.

Results: The study population included 19,025 third births. The recurrence risk ranged from 42% (for women with 2 prior preterm deliveries), through 21% (term/preterm) and 13% (preterm/term), to 5% (term/term). The recurrence risk was highest (57%) for women with 2 prior very preterm deliveries (21-31 weeks) and lowest (33%) for those with 2 prior moderate preterm deliveries (32-36 weeks). The recurrence risk was less pronounced for women with 1 prior very or moderate preterm delivery.

Conclusion: These data show a strong association between prior preterm delivery and recurrence risk, which is affected by the frequency, order, and severity of prior preterm births.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Missouri
  • Parity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors