Maternal Factors Associated With Early Spontaneous Singleton Preterm Delivery in Nigeria

  • Olugbenga A. Mokuolu Departments of Paediatrics, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Ishaq F. Abdul Departments of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Omotayo Adesiyun Departments of Paediatrics, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria


Background: Knowledge of the maternal factors predisposing to preterm deliveries should affect the anticipatory care of mothers at risk of delivering preterm babies and improve perinatal outcome.

Objective: To determine the maternal socio-biological characteristics associated with the delivery of early spontaneous singleton preterm babies in a sample of Nigerian Women.

Methods: The study was conducted at a teaching hospital in the Guinea savannah belt of Nigeria. Two groups of patients were recruited. Group A consisted of women who delivered babies prior to a gestational age of ² 34 weeks, while Group B were mothers who delivered at 37 or more weeks. Data collected on each subject included maternal post-partum weight, height, obstetric data and social characteristics.

Results: A total of 171 mothers were studied; 69 in Group A and 102 in Group B. There was no significant difference between the socio-demographic profiles of the two groups. Factors significantly associated with preterm delivery were body mass index (BMI) ² 20.0 [Odds Ratio (OR) 14.6; 95% CI: 3.2-66.1]; previous preterm delivery [OR: 4.5; 95% CI: 1.5-13.3]; parity 1-2 [OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1-4.0] and previous abortion [OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.2-2.4]. These associations were still demonstrable after adjusting for confounding variables, with BMI being the strongest determinant of preterm delivery. Maternal height alone and previous uterine curettage were not significantly associated with preterm delivery.

Conclusion: Low BMI, low parity, previous preterm delivery and previous abortions were the maternal factors associated with early spontaneous singleton preterm delivery in a sample of Nigerian women.

Key Words: Maternal, Labour, Preterm Births, Prematurity, Perinatal

[Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2002, 19: 32-35]

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-5117