Cost analysis for deliveries according to maternal age classes for moving to a personalized approach in the health care

Stefania Triunfo, Francesca Petrillo, Francesca Lofoco, Massimo Volpe, Antonio Lanzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: In the last decades, childbearing has moved to higher ages, displaying adverse outcomes related to advanced maternal age at birth. Accordingly, the aim was to perform a cost analysis in women admitted for birth assistance and segregated by age classes (<20, 20–24, 25–29, 30–34, 35–39, 40–45, and ≥45 years). Methods: A total of 18,093 admitted for assistance at delivery in a 5-year period (2012–2016) were included in the analysis. Costs for obstetric complications in vaginal delivery (VD) and cesarean section (CS), based on hospital discharge report from the local health care system, were calculated by using the “diagnosis-related group” (DRG) approach. Results: An overall economic cost due to clinical assistance at delivery of €42.663.481 was computed. A global rate of 59.6% of vaginal deliveries (VD) and 40.4% of cesarean section (CS) was assessed. Among of all maternal age classes, women attributable to classes 30–34 and 35–39 years reached a rate of 62.8%, while values of 24.2 and 13% were observed for those under 30 and over 40 years of age, respectively. A significant increasing trend in terms of maternal stay duration was found across all age groups (from 4.7 to 5.4 days, p <.05), as well as nonspecific delivery costs (from €2.222.49 to €2.401.29, p <.05). Uncomplicated VD decreased across the groups, until to halve between two extreme maternal age groups (38.8 versus 18.6%, p <.05), while a three-fold risk of CS complications was calculated in women over 45 years-old in comparison with those under 20 years of age (4.2 versus 13.9, p <.05), although not significantly different in the cost analysis between two extreme age groups. Conclusions: Increases in maternal age at delivery are associated with higher healthcare costs, driven largely by additional complication rates, irrespective of the delivery mode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Cesarean section
  • costs
  • delivery
  • maternal age
  • maternal morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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