Thame, Minerva M.; Wilks, Rainford J.; Matadial, Lennox; Forrester, Terrence E.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute
A comparative study of pregnancy outcome in teenage girls and mature women
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The objective was to compare the pregnancy outcome of teenage girls and mature women. The design was a retrospective study of births from January to December 1990, based on the antenatal clinic and the labour ward, University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica. Teenage mothers, 13 to 19 years old, and a control group of mothers, 22 to 23 years old, were selected from the records of 2,394 live, singleton births between 200 and 305 days' gestation. The main outcome measures were birth weight, crown heel length, head circumference, head circumference:length ratio, ponderal index and placental weight. The results showed that in the teenage group, weight, body mass index at booking, haemoglobin concentration in each trimester, and minimum haemoglobin level during pregnancy were lower than in the control group. Systolic blood pressure in the first and the second trimesters was lower than in controls, but there was no significant difference in the third trimester nor in the delivery systolic blood pressure. Babies of teenage mothers had lower birth weights and smaller head circumferences than the babies of the control group, but there was no significant difference between the groups in crown heel length, ponderal index, head circumference:length ratio, and placental weight. These data support the hypothesis that teenaged girls are not physically mature and, as a consequence, their offspring have lower birth weights and smaller head circumferences.....