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Characteristics of women who are pregnant with their first baby at an advanced age

Authors

  • ANNE BRITT VIKA NILSEN,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway
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  • ULLA WALDENSTRÖM,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • ANNA HJELMSTED,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • SVEIN RASMUSSEN,

    1. Department of Medical Birth Registry & Institute of Clinical Medicine, Bergen, Norway
    2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • ERICA SCHYTT

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Clinical Research Dalarna, Falun, Sweden
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: ERRATUM Volume 91, Issue 7, 881, Article first published online: 18 June 2012

  • Conflict of interest
    The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.

  • Please cite this article as: Nilsen ABV, Waldenström U, Hjelmsted A, Rasmussen S, Schytt E. Characteristics of women who are pregnant with their first baby at an advanced age. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2012;91: DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0412.2011.01335.x.

Anne Britt Vika Nilsen, Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen University College, Norway Postbox 7030, 5020 Bergen, Norway. E-mail: abvn@hib.no

Abstract 

Objective. To describe the background characteristics of women who gave birth to their first child at an advanced and very advanced maternal age, including their sociodemographic background, social relationships, health behavior, physical and mental health, and reproductive history. Design. Cross-sectional data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Setting. Norway. Sample. 41 236 Norwegian-speaking nulliparous women. Methods. Data were collected by the first questionnaire distributed in week 17 of pregnancy during the recruitment period 1999–2008. The distribution of descriptive variables in relation to age was investigated, by means of bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Main outcome measures. Advanced (33–37 years) and very advanced (≥38 years) maternal age. Results. Women who had their first baby at an advanced or very advanced age differed from the younger women with regard to a wide range of background characteristics, and this difference was most pronounced for the very advanced group. Problems related to physical aging were more common (infertility, physical health problems, sleep problems, depression and fatigue). Of the sociodemographic factors; high annual income and low level of education were most strongly correlated with high maternal age, followed by single status, unemployment, unsatisfactory relationship with partner and unplanned pregnancy. Conclusions. Besides having more age-related reproductive and physical health problems, women who had their first baby at an advanced or very advanced age constituted a heterogeneous group characterized by either socioeconomic prosperity or vulnerability.

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