African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Risk Factors for Premature Births: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Hospital Records in a Cameroonian Health Facility

Andreas Chiabi, Evelyn M Mah, Nicole Mvondo, Seraphin Nguefack, Lawrence Mbuagbaw, Karen K Kamga, Shiyuan Zhang, Emile Mboudou, Pierre F Tchokoteu, Elie Mbonda


The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for preterm births in the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital in Cameroon, and to describe their outcomes. We conducted a cross-sectional analytical study of hospital records over eight years. The incidence of prematurity was 26.5 % of admissions over a period of 7 years 7 months. After controlling for confounding factors, we identified attending antenatal care visits in a health centre (Odds ratio [OR] 6.19; 95% Confidence interval [CI]1.15-33.22; p=0.033), having a urinary tract infection (OR 39.04; 95% CI 17.19-88.62; p<0.001), multiple gestation (OR 3.82; 95 % CI 2.68-5.43; p<0.001) and congenital malformations (OR 2.78; 95% CI 1.24-6.22; p=0.013) increased the odds of preterm birth. On the other hand being a student mother (OR 0.44; 95% CI 0.20-0.98; p=0.047), being married (OR 0.40; 95% CI 0.19-0.84; p=0.016) and more antenatal visits (OR 0.23; 95% CI 0.15-0.35; p<0.001) reduced the odds of preterm birth. Neonatal mortality in these preterm neonates was 36.6%, in which 69% occurred in the early neonatal period. The main causes of death were neonatal infections (27.6%), neonatal asphyxia (11.9%) and congenital malformations (10.3%). We recommend enhanced prenatal care and management of pathologies which arise during pregnancy.

Keywords: prematurity, risk factors, neonates, hospital outcome, Cameroon

(Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[4]: 77-83)

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