(HealthDay News) – Women born preterm are at significantly increased risk of experiencing pregnancy complications of their own, according to a study published online Sept 24 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

To examine the correlation between preterm birth and pregnancy complications later in life, Ariane Boivin, PhD, from the University of Montréal, and colleagues analyzed data from 7,405 women born preterm (554 at <32 weeks; 6,851 at 32–36 weeks) and a matched cohort of 16,714 women born at term, between the years 1976 and 1995, who had a live birth or stillbirth between 1987 and 2008.

The researchers found that, during the study period, at least one pregnancy complication was experienced by 19.9% of women born at <32 weeks, 13.2% born at 32–36 weeks, and 11.7% born at term (P<0.001). There were increased odds of having at least one pregnancy complication for women born small for gestational age (both term and preterm) compared with women born at term and appropriate for gestational age. There was a 1.95-fold increase in the odds of pregnancy complications associated with preterm birth among women born before 32 weeks’ gestation and a 1.14-fold increase among those born at 32–36 weeks’ gestation, compared to women born at term, after adjustment for other variables.

“The impact of the patients’ preterm birth on obstetric care should be taken into account in the care of pregnant patients, as well as in the allocation of resources in the health care system,” the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving consultancy fees from the International Partnership for Microbicides.

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