Epidemiological predictor variables in relation to the outcome of pregnancy in an urban setting

Prerna Shankar, Vikas Pathania


Background: Fetal weight at birth is the singular parameter resonant of maternal health and is measured with reasonable precision, while measuring preterm birth or IUGR requires a valid estimate of gestational age. Notwithstanding the relevance of mortality and morbidity as measures of adverse pregnancy outcome, proxy markers like low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and congenital anomalies have been used in the past. This exercise aims to study the epidemiological predictor variables in pregnant women attending ante-natal clinic and its association with birth outcome.

Methods: This prospective study was carried out over a one-year period at a tertiary care teaching hospital. Data was collected using structured questionnaire, investigation reports and ante-natal cards. The outcome of delivery in all registered women was recorded by following them up till delivery.

Results: The variables having a statistically significant association with an adverse pregnancy outcome were maternal and paternal education, family income, socioeconomic status (SES), gravidity, maternal complications, level of physical activity, rest during pregnancy, trimester of initiation of ANC visits, diet, iron supplementation, maternal weight gain, exposure to tobacco/environmental tobacco smoke and gestational age.

Conclusions: Parental education, good antenatal care, early detection of high risk pregnancy, light physical activity and adequate rest, adequate nutrition with supplementation and exposure to ETS markedly influence the pregnancy outcome and intervention in these areas would result in an improved birth outcome. Factors having marginal scope of intervention include age of the pregnant women, adequate inter-pregnancy interval, maternal weight gain and socioeconomic status.


Pregnancy, Adverse birth outcome, Low birth weight

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