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BJOG. 2002 Mar;109(3):249-53.

Grandmultiparae in a modern setting.

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  • 1St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK.



To compare the incidence of antenatal and intrapartum complications and neonatal outcomes among women who had previously delivered five or more times (grandmultiparous) with that of age-matched control women who had previously delivered two or three times (multiparous).


A matched cohort study.


An inner city university maternity hospital in the United Kingdom.


Three hundred and ninety-seven grandmultiparous women were compared with three hundred and ninety-seven age-matched multiparous women.


Data on the subjects were obtained from a computerised maternity information system (SMMIS). Characteristics and complications occurring in the two groups were compared. Data validation was performed with a 10% randomised sample of the casenotes in both groups. Nineteen relevant data fields were abstracted and compared with the matched SMMIS record. Results The overall incidence of intrapartum complications for grandmultiparous women was 16% compared with 18% in the control multiparous women (odds ratio 0.9, 95% CI 0.6-1.3). Grand multiparity was associated with a significantly higher body mass index at booking (P < 0.01) and the last antenatal clinic (P < 0.05), an increased incidence of antenatal anaemia (22% vs 16%, odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.8) and a decreased incidence of elective caesarean section (6% vs 11%, odds ratio 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9). Agreement was greater than 95% in all the data fields reviewed except three. In the 14 categorical variables reviewed the Cohen's kappa results were in excess of 0.6.


This study suggests that in a developed country with satisfactory health care conditions, grandmultiparity should not be considered dangerous,and risk assessment should be based on past and present history and not simply on the basis of parity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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