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Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Nov;86(5):744-8.

Maternal anthropometry and idiopathic preterm labor.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the etiologic role of maternal short stature, low pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), and low rate of gestational weight gain in idiopathic preterm labor.

METHODS:

We carried out a three-center case-control study of 555 women with idiopathic onset of preterm labor (before 37 completed weeks), including two overlapping (ie, nonmutually exclusive) subsamples: cases with early preterm labor (before 34 completed weeks) and cases with recurrent preterm labor (before 37 completed weeks plus a history of prior preterm delivery or second-trimester miscarriage). Controls were matched to cases by race and smoking history. All subjects responded in person to questions about height, pre-pregnancy weight, gestational weight gain, and obstetric and sociodemographic histories.

RESULTS:

Maternal height, pre-pregnancy weight, and gestational weight gain demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability, with intra-class correlation coefficients of 0.97, 0.99, and 0.91, respectively. Based on matched analyses, women with a height of 157.5 cm or less had an increased risk of idiopathic preterm labor (odds ratio [OR] 1.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-2.74), as did those with a pre-pregnancy BMI less than 19.8 kg/m2 (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.09-2.44) or a gestational weight gain rate less than 0.27 kg/week (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.16-2.62). Conditional logistic regression models containing all three anthropometric variables and controlling for parity, marital status, language, age, and education yielded virtually identical point estimates and CIs.

CONCLUSION:

Maternal short stature, low pre-pregnancy BMI, and low rate of gestational weight gain may lead to shortened gestation by increasing the risk of idiopathic preterm labor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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