Mothers' and fathers' birth characteristics and perinatal mortality in their offspring: a population-based cohort study

Authors

  • Tone I. Nordtveit,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section for Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, and
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  • Kari K. Melve,

    1. Section for Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, and
    2. The Medical Birth Registry, The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
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  • Rolv Skjaerven

    1. Section for Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, and
    2. The Medical Birth Registry, The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
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Tone Irene Nordtveit, Section for Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Postbox 7804, N-5020 Bergen, Norway. E-mail: Tone.Nordtveit@isf.uib.no

Summary

Nordtveit TI, Melve KK, Skjaerven R. Mothers' and fathers' birth characteristics and perinatal mortality in their offspring: a population-based cohort study. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2010; 24: 282–292.

There is increasing interest in the associations between parental birthweight and gestational age with their perinatal outcomes. We investigated perinatal mortality risk in offspring in relation to maternal and paternal gestational age and birthweight. We used population-based generational data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, 1967–2006. Singletons in both generations were included, forming 520 794 mother–offspring and 376 924 father–offspring units.

Perinatal mortality in offspring was not significantly associated with paternal gestational age or birthweight, whereas it was inversely associated with maternal gestational age. A threefold increased risk in perinatal mortality was found among offspring of mothers born at 28–30 weeks of gestation relative to offspring of mothers born at term (37–43 weeks) (relative risk: 2.9, 95% CI 1.9, 4.6). There was also an overall association between maternal birthweight and offspring perinatal mortality. Relative risk for mothers whose birthweight was <2000 g was 1.5 (95% CI 1.1, 1.9), relative to mothers whose birthweight was 3500–3999 g. However, confined to mothers born at ≥34 weeks of gestation, the birthweight association was not significant. Weight-specific perinatal mortality in offspring was dependent on the birthweight of the mother and the father, that is, offspring who were small relative to their mother's or father's birthweight had increased perinatal mortality. In conclusion, a mother's gestational age, and not her birthweight, was significantly associated with perinatal mortality in the offspring, while there was no such association for the father.

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