Greater risk for children of mothers over 40 to die in the womb or as a newborn
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.
In summary, the extensive study shows that more children born to women between 40 and 44 and 45 and older die in the womb or during the first month of life than children of mothers in their 20s. The results demonstrate that six of 1,000 children born to women in their 20s die in the womb or during the first 28 days. The corresponding number for women between 40 and 44 is eleven, and for women over 45 seventeen.
“But even though the increase in risk is clear, it is still the case that few children die, even if the mother is over 40. All told, it is a matter of a half to one and a half percent of pregnancies that end in this unfortunate way,” says Bo Jacobsson, who led the study.
The pregnant women in their 40s also ran a greater risk of developing complications like high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clots, and other diseases. Women in the 40-44 and 45 and older age groups also present prematurely to a greater extent and more commonly have twins than younger women do.
“This knowledge is vital, since it will provide a basis for how health-care personnel advise couples regarding the importance of the woman’s age in giving birth. The knowledge is also important when it comes to the determining how society should approach postponed reproduction periods,” says Bo Jacobsson.
Ulrika Lundin | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...