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Hum Reprod. 1999 Nov;14(11):2891-4.

Risks of preterm delivery and association with maternal age, birth order, and fetal gender.

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Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pavia,via Abbiategrasso 207, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


The risk of preterm delivery in a recent sample (1990-1994) of Italian liveborns was examined, taking into account child birth order, and maternal age and education in addition to the fetal gender. Univariate analyses showed that a higher risk was associated with male than female babies, with first- than second-born children, with older mothers, and with less educated mothers. The relative weights of the factors examined were evaluated through logistic regression analyses and the highest and the lowest risks were found to be associated with advanced maternal age and male fetal gender respectively. Our findings therefore suggest that biological factors associated more with advanced maternal age than with the male gender of the fetus may influence premature onset of labour.

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