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Effects of maternal age on pregnancy outcomes 

Effects of maternal age on pregnancy outcomes
Chapter:
Effects of maternal age on pregnancy outcomes
Author(s):

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198722700.003.0034
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date: 19 August 2019

Maternal age on both ends of the reproductive spectrum (teenage and 35+) is associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, as compared with the age range from 20–34 years old. Some of the increase in pregnancy complications in older mothers is caused by underlying age-related health issues such as hypertension and diabetes, the prevalence of which increases linearly with age. The risks associated with young maternal age are more related to nutritional deficits and the fact that pregnant adolescents may still be growing themselves. Poor fetal growth often seen in adolescent pregnancies possibly results from competition for nutrients. Maternal bone loss is also a concern, as adolescent diets are commonly low in calcium and vitamin D. Pregnant adolescents may benefit from calcium supplementation to compensate for the increased need for their own bone growth and should at minimum receive vitamin D supplements, as recommended for all pregnant women.

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