Age, mode of conception, health service use and pregnancy health: A prospective cohort study of Australian women

Jane Rosamond Woodward Fisher, Karen Hilary Wynter, Karin Hammarberg, John McBain, Frances Gibson, Jacky Boivin, Catherine McMahon

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There is limited evidence about the ways in which maternal age and mode of conception interactwith psychological, sociodemographic, health and health service factors in governing pregnancy health. The aim ofthis study was to establish in what ways maternal age and mode of conception are associated with, healthbehaviours, health service use and self-rated physical and mental health during pregnancy.Method: A prospective cohort study was conducted in a collaboration between universities, infertility treatmentservices and public and private obstetric hospitals in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Consecutive cohorts ofnulliparous English-literate women at least 28 weeks pregnant who had conceived through ART (ARTC) orspontaneously (SC) in three age-groups: 20?30; 31?36 and at least 37 years were recruited. Data were obtained viastructured individual telephone interviews and self-report postal questionnaires at recruitment and four monthspostpartum. Study-specific questions assessed: sociodemographic characteristics; reproductive health; healthbehaviours and health service use. Standardized instruments assessed physical health: SF 12 Physical ComponentScore (PCS) and mental health: SF12 Mental Component Score (MCS); State Trait Anxiety Inventory and EdinburghPostnatal Depression Scale. The main outcome measures were the SF 12 PCS, SF12 MCS scores and pregnancyrelatedhospital admissions.Results: Of 1179 eligible women 791 (67 ) participated, 27 had fertility treatment without oocyte retrieval andwere excluded and 592/764 (78 ) completed all pregnancy assessments. When other factors were controlledspeaking a language other than English, having private health insurance and multiple gestation were associatedwith worse physical health and having private health insurance and better physical health were associated withbetter mental health. Pregnancy-related hospital admissions were associated with worse physical health andmulti
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 13
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number88
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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