Birth outcomes and risk factors in adolescent pregnancies: Results of a Taiwanese national survey

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Abstract

Background:

This study explores birth outcomes and determinants in adolescent pregnancies, using subjects drawn from the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study (TBCS) from 2005.

Methods:

Through completed interviews and surveys with mothers or other family members, differences in birth outcomes and personal, pregnancy and social profiles of mothers were analyzed.

Results:

A total of 533 adolescent mothers (<20 years old) and 9347 adult mothers (20–34 years old) were included in our study. There was a significantly higher incidence of low birthweight (LBW) (<2500 g, 10.2% vs 5.6%) and premature birth (<37 weeks, 14.8% vs 8.6%) in the adolescent group. When adjusted for covariates in the multiple-variable model, youth remained a risk factor for LBW (OR = 1.50, 95%CI 1.09, 2.07) and premature delivery (OR = 1.42, 95%CI 1.07, 1.89). Age, prenatal care and weight gain during pregnancy are important predictors of LBW and premature birth.

Conclusion:

Adolescent pregnancy carries a high-risk of LBW and premature birth. Inadequate prenatal care and weight gain during pregnancy are contributing factors that could be improved through strategies of health education, family support and case management.

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