Background: Low socio-economic context increases the risk of preterm delivery and may affect short-term outcomes in children born preterm. We described the social context of preterm delivery in France in 2011 and compared it with the general population of deliveries over the same period. We also studied how social context influenced pregnancy and delivery characteristics in the preterm population, and how it affected mortality and short-term morbidity in liveborn preterm children (<35 weeks).
Methods: We created an individual socio-economic vulnerability index, derived from multiple correspondence analysis based on maternal social information in the French National Perinatal Survey (NPS-2010). Weighted coordinates were applied to families from the EPIPAGE 2 study, a population-based cohort of preterm infants born in 2011, to quantify the infant's exposure to socio-economic vulnerability. Multivariable logistic models were used to relate the socio-economic context to pregnancy and delivery characteristics, and to assess its impact on short-term outcomes of the infants.
Results: Among mothers of preterm infants, gestational age decreased as socio-economic conditions worsened. In the most deprived group, women had more irregular pregnancy care, a higher prevalence of infection during pregnancy, and a lower rate of antenatal corticosteroid administration. The most deprived group was associated with a higher risk of severe morbidity for the preterm neonates.
Conclusion: Our results emphasise the need for a large population-based surveillance system to identify the most deprived mothers, and to propose appropriate follow-up and care to these women and their infants in order to enhance long-term health.
Keywords: maternal infection; preterm delivery; short-term outcomes; socio-economic conditions.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.