Pregnancy at forty and over: a case-control study

Paolo Vercellini, Guglielmo Zuliani, Maria Teresa Rognoni, Laura Trespidi, Sabina Oldani, Anna Cardinale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compared obstetric prognosis in 327 women ≥ 40 years old (148 nulliparas, 279 multiparas) with 20-30-year-old matched controls who delivered at our department between 1988 and 1990. Gestational diabetes and chronic hypertension were the only more frequent antepartum complications in cases than controls (2.4% vs. 0.3% and 3.4% vs. 0.3%, respectively). There were more premature deliveries in cases than controls (19% vs. 8%) but no difference in postdate deliveries. Cesarean section was more frequent in cases than controls in both nulliparas (64% vs. 30%) and multiparas (43% vs. 12%). Incidence of abdominal delivery for acute obstetrical indications was not increased in older gravidas. Significant differences were observed in low birthweight (17% vs. 5%) and 5-min Apgar score <7 (8% vs. 2%). Most of the abnormal Apgar scores were recorded after cesarean section; values for vaginally-delivered infants were comparable in older and younger women. Perinatal mortality was similar in the two groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Elderly gravidas
  • Late maternal age
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy outcome
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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