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Demographic profile and pregnancy outcomes of adolescents and older mothers in Saudi Arabia: analysis from Riyadh Mother (RAHMA) and Baby cohort study

11 Sep 2017


To investigate the impact of maternal age on pregnancy outcomes with special emphasis on adolescents and older mothers and to investigate the differences in demographic profile between adolescents and older mothers.


This study is a secondary analysis of pregnancy outcomes of women in Riyadh Mother and Baby cohort study according to maternal age. The study population was grouped according to maternal age into five subgroups; <20, 20–29, 30–34, 35–39 and 40+years. The age group 20–29 years was considered as a reference group. Investigation of maternal age impact on maternal and neonatal outcomes was conducted with adjustment of confounders using regression models.


All mothers were married when conceived with the index pregnancy. Young mothers were less likely to be illiterate, more likely to achieve higher education and be employed compared with mothers ≥ 40 years. Compared with the reference group, adolescents were more likely to have vaginal delivery (and least likely to deliver by caesarean section (CS); OR=0.6, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.9, while women ≥40 years, were more likely to deliver by CS; OR 2.9, 95% CI 2.3 to 3.7. Maternal age was a risk factor for gestational diabetes in women ≥40 years; OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.1. Adolescents had increased risk of preterm delivery; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.1 and women ≥40 years had similar risk; OR, 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.6.


Adverse pregnancy outcomes show a continuum with the advancement of maternal age. Adolescents mother are more likely to have vaginal delivery; however, they are at increased risk of preterm delivery. Advanced maternal age is associated with increased risk of preterm delivery, gestational diabetes and CS.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open