Women who give birth after 40 run a greater risk of experiencing pregnancy complications than younger women. Moreover, there is an increased risk of the child dying in the womb or in close connection with delivery. This is shown in a study carried out by the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University in Sweden.
Women in Sweden, as in many other countries, are giving birth later and later in life. Today the average age of the mother at the birth of the first child is 29, and it is no longer unusual for women over 40 to become mothers. The proportion of women who give birth after the age of 40 has doubled since the early 1980s. It has long been known that the risk of miscarriage increases and that it is more difficult to become pregnant the older the woman is, but our knowledge of how the outcome of pregnancy is influenced by the age of the mother has been scant.
A study from the Section for Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Göteborg has analyzed the results of all pregnancies in Sweden between 1987 and 2001. This represents a total of nearly 1.6 million pregnancies. Complications and the outcome of pregnancies among women aged 40-44 and 45 and older were given special attention and were compared with data for women aged 20-29 giving birth during the same period. The results of the study are published in the October issue of the American journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Ulrika Lundin | alfa
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