The effect of advanced maternal age on perinatal outcomes in nulliparous singleton pregnancies

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018 Aug 22;18(1):343. doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-1984-x.


Background: Pregnancy at advanced maternal age has become more common in both developed and developing countries over the last decades. The association between adverse perinatal outcomes and advanced maternal age has been a matter of controversy in several studies. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of advanced maternal age on perinatal and neonatal outcomes of nulliparous singleton pregnancies.

Methods: Records of patients admitted to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cukurova School of Medicine, between January 2011 and July 2015 for routine mid-trimester fetal ultrasonography were retrospectively reviewed. The control (age: 18-34 years), advanced maternal age (35-39 years), and very advanced maternal age (> 40 years) groups included 471, 399, and 87 women, respectively.

Results: Gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and cesarean delivery rates were more common in the very advanced maternal age group, with compared with the advanced maternal age and the younger age group. There were no significant differences in regarding rates of spontaneous preterm delivery before 34 weeks of gestation, prolonged rupture of membranes, large for gestational age infants, and operative vaginal delivery rates between the groups. Also, there were no significant differences regarding in APGAR scores, the rate of low birth weight infants, and neonatal morbidity rates between the groups. However, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit requirement was more common in the two advanced maternal age groups compared with the control group.

Conclusion: Advanced maternal age is a risk factor for gestational diabetes mellitus, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, small for gestational age infants, spontaneous late preterm delivery, and cesarean section, with significant potential clinical implications.

Keywords: Maternal age; Nulliparity; Preeclampsia; Pregnancy outcomes; Small for gestational age.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult