Factors influencing the incidence of pre-term birth in Calabar, Nigeria
AbstractWomen who had pre-term birth in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, over a 2 ½ year period were studied. The aim was to establish the factors influencing the incidence of pre-term birth in Calabar. Factors which significantly increase the incidence of pre-term delivery included: previous induced abortion (P<0.0001), nulliparity (P<0.001), out of wedlock birth (P<0.05) and lack of antenatal care (P<0.01). Women with multiple pregnancy (P<0.001) or previous pre-term delivery (P < 0.01), have a significantly high risk for pre-term birth. Antenatal complications (P<0.0001) particularly anaemia (P<0.001) or malaria (P<0.05) in the index pregnancy constitute risk factors for pre-term delivery. However, educational status, social class and previous spontaneous abortion did not seem to significantly influence the incidence of pre-term birth in this study (P>0.05). Wider use of family planning, less restrictive abortion laws and training of doctors and nurses on the use of manual vacuum aspiration in the management of post-abortion complications may help reduce the incidence of pre-term birth in Calabar. Replacing pyrimethamine chemoprophylaxis for malaria in pregnancy by intermittent treatment of malaria with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine and deworming our women during antenatal care may also help reduce the incidence of pre-term birth in our community.
Keywords: pre-disposing factors, increased incidence, pre-term birth, Nigeria
Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences Vol. 20(1&2) 2005: 63-68