Effects of interpregnancy interval and outcome of the preceding pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes in Matlab, Bangladesh

BJOG. 2007 Sep;114(9):1079-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2007.01338.x. Epub 2007 Jul 6.


Objective: To estimate the effects on pregnancy outcomes of the duration of the preceding interpregnancy interval (IPI) and type of pregnancy outcome that began the interval.

Design: Observational population-based study.

Setting: The Maternal Child Health-Family Planning (MCH-FP) area of Matlab, Bangladesh.

Population: A total of 66,759 pregnancy outcomes that occurred between 1982 and 2002.

Methods: Bivariate tabulations and multinomial logistic regression analysis.

Main outcome measures: Pregnancy outcomes (live birth, stillbirth, miscarriage [spontaneous fetal loss prior to 28 weeks], and induced abortion).

Results: When socio-economic and demographic covariates are controlled, of the IPIs that began with a live birth, those < 6 months in duration were associated with a 7.5-fold increase in the odds of an induced abortion (95% CI 6.0-9.4), a 3.3-fold increase in the odds of a miscarriage (95% CI 2.8-3.9), and a 1.6-fold increase in the odds of a stillbirth (95% CI 1.2-2.1) compared with 27- to 50-month IPIs. IPIs of 6-14 months were associated with increased odds of induced abortion (2.0, 95% CI 1.5-2.6). IPIs > or = 75 months were associated with increased odds of all three types of non-live-birth (NLB) outcomes but were not as risky as very short intervals. IPIs that began with a NLB were generally more likely to end with the same type of NLB.

Conclusions: Women whose pregnancies are between 15 and 75 months after a preceding pregnancy outcome (regardless of its type) have a lower likelihood of fetal loss than those with shorter or longer IPIs. Those with a preceding NLB outcome deserve special attention in counselling and monitoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Bangladesh
  • Birth Intervals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Live Birth / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stillbirth / epidemiology