Prematurity and Low Birth Weight among Brazilian Adolescents and Young Adults

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Rocha, Ricardo C. L.
Souza, Eduardo de [UNIFESP]
Soares, Eduardo P.
Nogueira, Erica S.
Chambo Filho, Antonio
Guazzelli, Cristina A. F. [UNIFESP]
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Study Objective: To compare the incidence of preterm birth and low birth weight infants in young and older primiparous adolescents versus young adults.Design: Cross-sectional study.Setting: Maternity hospital in Vitoria, ES, Brazil.Participants: During a 5-year period, young primiparous women who delivered a singleton liveborn infant over 22 weeks were interviewed while in the postpartum ward.Interventions: A single investigator performed all the individual interviews to collect sociodemographic variables and obtained gestational age and birth weight from the patients' charts before discharge.Main Outcome Measures: Participants were divided into 3 groups according to age: young adolescents (10-15 years), older adolescents (16-19 y) and young adults (20-24 y). the chi(2) test was used to compare the rate of preterm birth and low birth weight between the groups and analyze differences in sociodemographic characteristics between the 3 groups. P < 0.05 was considered significant.Results: A total of 1124 participants were included: 164 young adolescents, 537 older adolescents and 423 adults. the rate of preterm birth was similar in the 3 groups: 4.3%, 3.5% and 4.5%, for young adolescents, older adolescents and adults, respectively (P = 0.48). the rate of low birth weight was significantly higher among young adolescents (9.7%) compared to older adolescents (6.1%) and young adults (3.5%) (P = 0.012).Conclusions: the rate of preterm birth was similar in adolescents and young adults. Adolescent mothers under 16 years of age have a significantly higher incidence of low birth weight infants.
Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. New York: Elsevier B.V., v. 23, n. 3, p. 142-145, 2010.