First pregnancy complications linked to increased risk of future premature delivery


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Pre-term delivery is a significant risk in women who have had pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, stillbirth, neonatal death, or small for gestational age experiences in a previous term, suggests research published in the BMJ.

The population-based, prospective study used data from Norway’s birth registry for 302,192 women giving birth (live or stillbirth) to a second singleton child between 1999 and 2015.

The main outcome was the relative risk (RR) of preterm delivery (

Women with any of the five complications at term showed a substantially increased risk of pre-term delivery in the next pregnancy.

The absolute risk was 6.1 per cent after term pre-eclampsia, 7.3 per cent after term placental abruption, 13.1 per cent after stillbirth, 10.0 per cent after neonatal death and 6.7 per cent after small for gestational age births.

The associations persisted after excluding recurrence of the specific complication in the second pregnancy.

“Term complications seem to share important underlying causes with preterm delivery that persist from pregnancy to pregnancy, perhaps related to a mother’s predisposition to disorders of placental function,” the authors concluded.