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BJOG. 2014 Mar;121 Suppl 1:89-100. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12635.

Mode and timing of twin delivery and perinatal outcomes in low- and middle-income countries: a secondary analysis of the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health.

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1
Department of Health Policy, National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the mode and timing of delivery of twin pregnancies at ≥34 weeks of gestation and their association with perinatal outcomes.

DESIGN:

Secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study.

POPULATION:

Twin deliveries at ≥34 weeks of gestation from 21 low- and middle-income countries participating in the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health.

METHODS:

Descriptive analysis and effect estimates using multilevel logistic regression.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Stillbirth, perinatal mortality, and neonatal near miss (use of selected life saving interventions at birth).

RESULTS:

The average length of gestation at delivery was 37.6 weeks. Of all twin deliveries, 16.8 and 17.6% were delivered by caesarean section before and after the onset of labour, respectively. Prelabour caesarean delivery was associated with older maternal age, higher institutional capacity and wealth of the country. Compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery, lower risks of neonatal near miss (adjusted odds ratio, aOR, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI, 0.44-0.94) were found among prelabour caesarean deliveries. A lower risk of early neonatal mortality (aOR 0.12; 95% CI 0.02-0.56) was also observed among prelabour caesarean deliveries with nonvertex presentation of the first twin. The week of gestation with the lowest rate of prospective fetal death varied by fetal presentation: 37 weeks for vertex-vertex; 39 weeks for vertex-nonvertex; and 38 weeks for a nonvertex first twin.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prelabour caesarean delivery rate among twins varied largely between countries, probably as a result of overuse of caesarean delivery in wealthier countries and limited access to caesarean delivery in low-income countries. Prelabour delivery may be beneficial when the first twin is nonvertex. International guidelines for optimal twin delivery methods are needed.

KEYWORDS:

Neonatal morbidity; perinatal morbidity; perinatal mortality; planned caesarean section; stillbirth; timing of birth; twin pregnancy

PMID:
24641539
DOI:
10.1111/1471-0528.12635
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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