Introduction: In 2011 Danish national guidelines were changed towards a more aggressive induction and fetal surveillance policy from (1) induction of labor at gestational age (GA) of 42+0 weeks and (2) no fetal surveillance after 40+0 weeks to (1) induction of labor between 41+2 and 41+6 weeks, (2) earlier induction at 41+0 weeks in the case of maternal age >40 years or body mass index (BMI) >35 kg/m2 and (3) fetal surveillance at GA 41+0 weeks.
Material and methods: This national cohort study included all pregnancies that reached 41+0 weeks of gestation in 2008-2014 (n = 102 167). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to estimate risks in the years after (2012-2014) vs. before (2008-2010) new national guidelines, adjusted for maternal age, BMI, and parity.
Results: We observed a decline in stillbirths from 0.9‰ to 0.5‰ [odds ratio (OR)adjusted 0.50, 95% CI 0.29-0.89, p = 0.018]. Furthermore, a decline in perinatal deaths from 1.3‰ to 0.8‰ (ORadjusted 0.62, 95% CI 0.39-0.96, p = 0.033) and vacuum extraction (ORadjusted 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.90, p = 0.007) was observed. The risk of cesarean section (ORadjusted 0.98, 95% CI 0.94-1.02, p = 0.251), Apgar score below 7 at five minutes (ORadjusted 0.96, 95% CI 0.81-1.14, p = 0.0.678) and admissions to the neonatal department (ORadjusted 1.04, 95% CI 1.00-1.14, p = 0.064) did not change, whereas induction of labor increased from 28.2 to 42.6% (ORadjusted 1.89, 95% CI 1.84-1.95, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: This study showed a decline in stillbirths and perinatal mortality after implementation of new Danish guidelines for post-date pregnancies. The risk of interventions as cesarean section and vacuum extraction remained stable despite an increase in labor inductions.
Keywords: Stillbirth; epidemiology; induced labor; prolonged pregnancy.
© 2017 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.