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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Aug;25(8):1260-3. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.643327. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Pregnancy outcome in women aged 40 years or more.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Perugia, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Perugia, Italy.



The study aimed to analyze the pregnancy outcome of women aged 40 years or more.


A matched retrospective cohort study comparing women aged 40 years or more with a control group aged 20 to 30 years is described. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted for the prediction of preterm birth and cesarean delivery.


Pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia and placenta previa were similar in both groups, but a higher rate of gestational diabetes was found in elderly patients (odds ratio [OR] 3.820, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.400-10.400; p < 0.0001). Preterm delivery was significantly more frequent in elderly women (OR 1.847, 95% CI = 1.123-3.037; p = 0.020). Gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension were strongly associated with preterm delivery and advanced maternal age was not an independent risk factor for preterm delivery. The cesarean delivery rate was significantly higher in the study group (OR 3.234, 95% CI = 2.266-4.617; p < 0.0001). The variables most influencing the cesarean delivery rate were maternal age, analgesia, parity, premature rupture of the membranes and gestational hypertension. No significant differences were detected in neonatal birth weight and Apgar score.


Patients aged 40 years or more have been demonstrated to carry a favorable pregnancy and neonatal outcome, similar to younger patients. The risk of cesarean delivery was higher in patients with advanced maternal age, in nulliparous and in women with a previous cesarean section. The risk of preterm delivery was not related to age but it was strongly associated with gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

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