Predictors of human gestational length

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Feb;168(2):480-4. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(93)90476-y.


Objectives: Our objective was to identify statistically significant variables that determine the length of human gestation.

Study design: Multiple linear regression was used to analyze 9355 observations from the Delivery Interview Program, a cross-sectional study conducted from 1977 through 1980 at the Boston Hospital for Women (now called the Brigham and Women's Hospital).

Results: Maternal parity, age, and race were found to be the most important variables determining the length of human gestation. Multiparous women, women aged < 19 or > 34 years, and black women were found to have shorter gestations than primiparous women, women aged 19 to 34 years, or white women.

Conclusion: By means of our linear model the length of pregnancy for women with different risk factors can be estimated more precisely than Naegele's rule allows.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Regression Analysis
  • Time Factors