Obstetric outcomes in adolescent pregnancies: A racial/ethnic comparison

Christina A. Penfield, Yvonne W. Cheng, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine obstetric outcomes for adolescents among the major US racial/ethnic groups. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of singleton births to nulliparous women aged 12 to 19 years from 1988 to 2008. The prevalence of preterm delivery, cesarean delivery, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birth weight and low Apgar score were compared across African-American, Asian, Latina and White adolescents. Results: 1865 adolescents were included in the analysis. Differences between racial/ethnic groups for rates of preterm delivery, cesarean delivery and gestational diabetes were statistically significant at p < 0.05. African Americans had lower odds of preterm delivery (OR = 0.58, 95% CI [0.38-0.90]) and gestational diabetes (OR = 0.17, 95% CI [0.05-0.55]) than White adolescents. White adolescents had increased odds of cesarean delivery compared to African-American (OR = 0.69, 95% CI [0.48-0.98]), Latina (OR = 0.62, 95% CI [0.41-0.94]) and Asian adolescents (OR = 0.41, 95% CI [0.25-0.68]). Although not statistically significant, White adolescents also had higher odds of low Apgar score. In the multivariate analysis, non-White adolescents continued to have improved outcomes, except in the case of low birth weight. Conclusions: African-American, Asian and Latina adolescents may have similar or decreased risk of obstetric complications compared to White adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1434
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Adolescent health
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Perinatal outcomes
  • Preterm delivery
  • Racial/ethnic disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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