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Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2012 Sep-Oct;58(5):587-93.

Low Apgar scores at 5 minutes in a low risk population: maternal and obstetrical factors and postnatal outcome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, Medical School, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



To evaluate the association between Apgar scores of less than seven at five minutes (AS5min < 7) and antenatal factors and postnatal outcomes.


A retrospective cohort and case-control study of 27,252 consecutive term newborns in a low risk obstetrical population between January 2003 and December 2010. Maternal and infant databases were reviewed from all cases with AS5min < 7 (n = 121; 0.4%) and 363 cases with AS5min > 7 at 5 minutes who were randomly selected by a computer program. The main outcomes were neonatal death, newborn respiratory distress, need for orotracheal intubation and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy.


After multiple regression analysis, repeated late decelerations on cardiotocography (OR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.4-4.1) and prolonged second stage of labor (OR: 3.3; 95% CI: 1.3-8.3) were associated with AS5min < 7, as well as neonatal respiratory distress (OR: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.3-6.9), orotracheal intubation (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.2-4.8), need for NICU (OR: 9.5; 95% CI: 6.7-16.8), and hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy (OR: 14.1; 95% CI: 3.6-54.7). No other antenatal factors were associated with AS5min < 7 (p > 0.05).


Repeated late decelerations and prolonged second stage of labor in the low-risk population are predictors of AS5min < 7, a situation associated with increased risk of neonatal respiratory distress, need for mechanical ventilatory support and NICU, and hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy.

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