Pregnancy outcome in women aged 40 years and above in Calabar, Nigeria
AbstractOne hundred and ten women who were 40 years old and above and 109 women of between 20 and 30 years that delivered in University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar were studied to assess the maternal and perinatal outcome of such pregnancies. Relevant information was obtained from the case files. The incidence of 1 in 98 or 1% of total deliveries was established in the older age group. Most of the pregnancies occurred before the age 43 years (85.5%) and among the illiterates with only 16.4% educated to primary school level. Married women were 50.9% and 65.5% were grand multiparous. The complications identified included anemia (45.5%) preterm labour (45.9%), obstetric haemorrhage (12.5%) with uterine fibroid and diabetes mellitus seen only in women of advanced age. Labour was less likely to be induced (7.3% vs 12.8%) or augmented (10.9% vs 19.3%) in the older women compared to the young ones. The older women were delivered more by caesarean section (28.2% vs 9.1%) while the young people had more of instrumental vaginal deliveries. Prematurity and birth asphyxia were the most common perinatal complications. Pregnancy at advanced maternal age, which is not rare in Calabar is high risk whose problems are compounded by illiteracy, high parity and low contraceptive usage. Effective and affordable contraceptive methods will reduce the incidence and proper utilization of available obstetric facilities by the old pregnant women will reduce the complications.
Keywords: pregnancy, maternal age 40 years and above, outcome
Mary Slessor Journal of Medicine Vol. 5(1), 2005: 28-32