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To identify maternal characteristics independently associated with pregnancies resulting in intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD).This was a population-based cohort study of all births taking place at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada, between 2001 and 2007, using the McGill University Obstetrics and Neonatal Database. Maternal characteristics were compared between pregnancies that resulted in IUFD and control pregnancies resulting in live newborns. A logistic regression analysis was constructed to identify parameters independently associated with IUFD.We identified 20,744 births during the study period, 87 of which were complicated by IUFD. Mothers with IUFD were more likely to be younger, with less formal education, higher rates of smoking during pregnancy, and more fetal anomalies (42.5% vs. 7.5%, P<0.001). After exclusion of pregnancies with congenital and/or chromosomal abnormalities, less formal education (7 vs. 13.6 school years, P<0.001) and smoking during pregnancy (24% vs. 7.7%, P<0.001) remained significantly more common in pregnancies resulting in IUFD. In the multivariable regression analysis both smoking and number of maternal school years were independently associated with IUFD pregnancies (OR 2.22 for smoking, P=0.007 and OR 0.865 for number of school years, P<0.001).Lower levels of education and smoking during pregnancy are independent predictors of IUFD.