Pregnancy in women of advancing maternal age is linked to incrementally worsening perinatal outcome. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of maternal age on delivery outcome in women that spontaneously labour at term.Methods:
This was a retrospective study of women that spontaneously labour at term. Women with singletons in spontaneous onset labour beyond 37 weeks of gestation were divided into five maternal age groups: <19 years, 20-24 years, 25-29 years, 30-34 years and >35 years by their age at delivery. The main outcome variables are augmentation of labour, caesarean section, assisted vaginal delivery, and perineal trauma, while admission of the newborn into the neonatal unit within 24 h following delivery was the secondary outcome measure.Results:
A total of 30,022 met the inclusion criteria with primiparae and multiparae accounting for 46 and 54%, respectively. Increasing age in primiparae was associated with; augmentation of labour OR 2.05 (95% CI 1.73-2.43), second degree perineal tear 1.35 (1.12-1.61), assisted vaginal delivery 1.92 (1.53-2.41) and caesarean section 4.23 (3.19-5.12). While that for multiparae; augmentation of labour OR 1.93 (1.05-3.52), perineal trauma 2.50 (1.85-3.34), assisted vaginal delivery 4.95 (91.82-13.35) and caesarean section 1.64 (1.13-2.38). The secondary outcome measure did not reach statistical significance.Conclusion:
Increasing maternal age is an independent risk factor for operative delivery, and perineal trauma. However, maternal age has no significant effect on admission of infants into the NICU during the first 24 h following delivery.