Pregnancy in adolescents. A case-control study

Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1995;22(2):161-4.


Objective: to investigate pregnancy outcome and incidence of pregnancy-related disorders in the adolescent.

Design: a matched control retrospective study.

Subjects: pregnant adolescents aged 14 to 19 years admitted to the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology--Policlinico Umberto I, between the years 1984 and 1993; a comparable number of pregnancies aged 20 to 24 years was considered as a control group.

Results: In the 10 yrs. period a total of 304 pregnancies in adolescents were considered. Preterm deliveries were 9.5% in the adolescent group vs 5.9% in control (P > 0.05). A higher incidence was found in number of cesarean section (P < 0.001), spontaneous abortion (P = 0.003), intrauterine growth retardation (P = 0.04) and fetal distress (P = 0.04) in the adolescent group vs matched controls. Also mean birth weight was significantly lower in the adolescent group when compared with normal group (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: we found a higher incidence of obstetric complications, such as IUGR, acute fetal distress in labor and lower birth weight, in the adolescent group, resulting in a higher number of cesarean sections. We hypothesise that the relative state of "hypoarterialisation" characteristic of the adolescent uterus may be involved in the afore-mentioned complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Retrospective Studies