Pregnancy course, infant outcomes, rehospitalization, and mortality among women with intellectual disability

Disabil Health J. 2019 Jul;12(3):452-459. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2019.01.004. Epub 2019 Jan 20.


Background: Pregnant women with intellectual disability (ID) may have greater levels of comorbidity and decreased care access, social support, or ability to monitor their status and communicate needs, but few studies have examined their pregnancy course and outcome, and little is known about their longer-term maternal and infant health.

Objective: We compared pre-pregnancy characteristics, pregnancy outcomes, and rehospitalization <2 years after delivery among women with and without ID.

Method: We identified all women with ID and randomly selected a 10:1 comparison group of women without ID with singleton live birth deliveries in Washington State population-based linked birth-hospital discharge data 1987-2012. Multivariable regressions estimated adjusted odds ratios comparing pre-pregnancy characteristics. In cohort analyses, we estimated relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for outcomes.

Results: Women with ID (N = 103) more often had gestational diabetes (RR 3.39, 95% CI 1.81-6.37), preeclampsia (RR 1.88, 95% CI 1.03-3.42), and inadequate prenatal care (RR 2.48, 95% CI 1.67-3.70). Their infants more often were small for gestational age (RR 1.78, 95% CI 1.10-2.89). Need for rehospitalization postpartum was not increased among women with ID or their infants.

Conclusion: Reasons for increased preeclampsia and gestational diabetes among pregnant women with ID are unclear. Barriers to inadequate prenatal care are multifactorial and warrant further study, with consideration that wellness during pregnancy and other times involves social, familial and clinical support systems responsive to each woman's needs.

Keywords: Cohort study; Epidemiology; Intellectual disability; Pregnancy outcome; Vital records.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Death*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intellectual Disability / mortality*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / mortality*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnant Women*
  • Washington
  • Young Adult