Research examines causes of complications during pregnancy and delivery in adolescents

December 5, 2018, Wiley
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Pregnancy in adolescence has been linked with increased risks of mortality and life-threatening complications in young mothers and their newborn babies. New research suggests that biology alone does not explain the high incidence of these adverse outcomes.

In a Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology analysis of all relevant published studies, investigators found that African American race, rural residence, inadequate education, , unemployment, and lack of social support are associated with poor pregnancy outcomes in adolescent mothers.

The findings suggest that certain social determinants of health—conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age—may place subgroups of adolescent mothers at a high risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.

"Our analyses of the scientific literature revealed that social determinants of health drive inequalities in adolescent perinatal health," said senior author Dr. Maria Ospina of the University of Alberta, in Canada. "The most disadvantaged groups of teen moms are at the of having adverse maternal and birth outcomes, and it is crucial to recognize these high-risk groups of ," added first author Sana Amjad.

Explore further: Babies of adolescents in CPS care more likely to be taken into care

More information: Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, DOI: 10.1111/ppe.12529

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