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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2017 Jul;96(7):862-867. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13113. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Decline in stillbirths and perinatal mortality after implementation of a more aggressive induction policy in post-date pregnancies: a nationwide register study.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.



In 2011 Danish national guidelines were changed towards a more aggressive induction and fetal surveillance policy from (1) induction of labor at gestational age (GA) of 42+0  weeks and (2) no fetal surveillance after 40+0  weeks to (1) induction of labor between 41+2 and 41+6  weeks, (2) earlier induction at 41+0  weeks in the case of maternal age >40 years or body mass index (BMI) >35 kg/m2 and (3) fetal surveillance at GA 41+0  weeks.


This national cohort study included all pregnancies that reached 41+0  weeks of gestation in 2008-2014 (n = 102 167). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to estimate risks in the years after (2012-2014) vs. before (2008-2010) new national guidelines, adjusted for maternal age, BMI, and parity.


We observed a decline in stillbirths from 0.9‰ to 0.5‰ [odds ratio (OR)adjusted 0.50, 95% CI 0.29-0.89, p = 0.018]. Furthermore, a decline in perinatal deaths from 1.3‰ to 0.8‰ (ORadjusted 0.62, 95% CI 0.39-0.96, p = 0.033) and vacuum extraction (ORadjusted 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.90, p = 0.007) was observed. The risk of cesarean section (ORadjusted 0.98, 95% CI 0.94-1.02, p = 0.251), Apgar score below 7 at five minutes (ORadjusted 0.96, 95% CI 0.81-1.14, p = 0.0.678) and admissions to the neonatal department (ORadjusted 1.04, 95% CI 1.00-1.14, p = 0.064) did not change, whereas induction of labor increased from 28.2 to 42.6% (ORadjusted 1.89, 95% CI 1.84-1.95, p < 0.001).


This study showed a decline in stillbirths and perinatal mortality after implementation of new Danish guidelines for post-date pregnancies. The risk of interventions as cesarean section and vacuum extraction remained stable despite an increase in labor inductions.


Stillbirth; epidemiology; induced labor; prolonged pregnancy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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