Adolescent deliveries in semi-urban Cameroon: prevalence and adverse neonatal outcomes

BMC Res Notes. 2017 Jun 26;10(1):227. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2555-3.


Objectives: Adolescent pregnancies are high risk due to the increased probability of adverse outcomes; as adolescents are usually considered to be ill-equipped to deal with the burden of pregnancy. We sought to determine the prevalence of adolescent deliveries in a secondary-level care hospital in semi-urban Cameroon-Bamenda, the adverse neonatal outcomes and to assess if previous obstetric history could preclude adolescents from having adverse outcomes in their present pregnancy.

Results: The prevalence of adolescent deliveries was 8.7% (95% CI 7.01-10.73%). The neonates of adolescent mothers were more likely to have severe asphyxia (OR 4.0; 95% CI 1.2-12.9; p = 0.03) and low birth weight (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.4; p < 0.01). The neonates of primipara adolescents were just as likely to have complications as multipara adolescents. The prevalence of adolescent deliveries (8.7%) in the Regional Hospital Bamenda is high. Their babies are at a high risk of adverse neonatal outcomes irrespective of their previous obstetric history (previous delivery) emphasising that adolescents are generally ill-prepared to deal with pregnancy. Strategies to reduce the prevalence of adolescent deliveries should be investigated and implemented in view of attaining the sustainable development goals.

Keywords: Adolescent deliveries; Adverse neonatal outcomes; Cameroon.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cameroon / epidemiology
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*