The relationship between birth intervals and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes in six low and lower-middle income countries

Melissa Bauserman, Kayla Nowak, Tracy L. Nolen, Jackie Patterson, Adrien Lokangaka, Antoinette Tshefu, Archana B. Patel, Patricia L. Hibberd, Ana L. Garces, Lester Figueroa, Nancy F. Krebs, Fabian Esamai, Edward A. Liechty, Waldemar A. Carlo, Elwyn Chomba, Musaku Mwenechanya, Shivaprasad S. Goudar, Umesh Ramadurg, Richard J. Derman, Sarah SaleemSaleem Jessani, Marion Koso-Thomas, Elizabeth M. McClure, Robert L. Goldenberg, Carl Bose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Due to high fertility rates in some low and lower-middle income countries, the interval between pregnancies can be short, which may lead to adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. Methods: We analyzed data from women enrolled in the NICHD Global Network Maternal Newborn Health Registry (MNHR) from 2013 through 2018. We report maternal characteristics and outcomes in relationship to the inter-delivery interval (IDI, time from previous delivery [live or stillborn] to the delivery of the index birth), by category of 6–17 months (short), 18–36 months (reference), 37–60 months, and 61–180 months (long). We used non-parametric tests for maternal characteristics, and multivariable logistic regression models for outcomes, controlling for differences in baseline characteristics. Results: We evaluated 181,782 women from sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Kenya, Guatemala, India, and Pakistan. Women with short IDI varied by site, from 3% in the Zambia site to 20% in the Pakistan site. Relative to a 18–36 month IDI, women with short IDI had increased risk of neonatal death (RR = 1.89 [1.74, 2.05]), stillbirth (RR = 1.70 [1.56, 1.86]), low birth weight (RR = 1.38 [1.32, 1.44]), and very low birth weight (RR = 2.35 [2.10, 2.62]). Relative to a 18–36 month IDI, women with IDI of 37–60 months had an increased risk of maternal death (RR 1.40 [1.05, 1.88]), stillbirth (RR 1.14 [1.08, 1.22]), and very low birth weight (RR 1.10 [1.01, 1.21]). Relative to a 18–36 month IDI, women with long IDI had increased risk of maternal death (RR 1.54 [1.10, 2.16]), neonatal death (RR = 1.25 [1.14, 1.38]), stillbirth (RR = 1.50 [1.38, 1.62]), low birth weight (RR = 1.22 [1.17, 1.27]), and very low birth weight (RR = 1.47 [1.32,1.64]). Short and long IDIs were also associated with increased risk of obstructed labor, hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, fetal malposition, infection, hospitalization, preterm delivery, and neonatal hospitalization. Conclusions: IDI varies by site. When compared to 18–36 month IDI, women with both short IDI and long IDI had increased risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. Trial registration: The MNHR is registered at NCT01073475.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157
JournalReproductive Health
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Birth intervals
  • Developing countries
  • Global network
  • Low birthweight
  • Maternal mortality
  • Neonatal mortality

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