Relationship between interpregnancy interval and birth defects in Washington State

J Perinatol. 2012 Jan;32(1):45-50. doi: 10.1038/jp.2011.49. Epub 2011 May 5.


Objective: Interpregnancy interval (IPI) influences numerous adverse perinatal outcomes. IPI's impact on birth defects is unclear.

Study design: We conducted a population-based case-control study, using 1998 to 2008 administrative data from Washington State. A total of 10, 772 cases, women whose second of two births resulted in an infant with a birth defect, were compared with 32 ,310 controls, women whose second of two births did not result in an infant with a birth defect.

Result: Compared with mothers with an IPI between 18 to 23 months, those with an IPI <6 months or ≥60 months had elevated risks of delivering an infant with a birth defect (odds ratio=1.15, 95% confidence interval: 1.03 to 1.28, and odds ratio=1.15, 95% confidence interval: 1.04 to 1.26, respectively).

Conclusion: We observed a J-shaped relationship between IPI and risk of having an infant with a birth defect. As this is one of the first studies to evaluate this association, confirmatory studies are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Intervals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Risk Factors
  • Washington / epidemiology
  • Young Adult