Associations between advanced maternal age and psychological distress in primiparous women, from early pregnancy to 18 months postpartum

V Aasheim, U Waldenström, A Hjelmstedt, S Rasmussen, H Pettersson, E Schytt
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2012, 119 (9): 1108-16

OBJECTIVE: To investigate if advanced maternal age at first birth increases the risk of psychological distress during pregnancy at 17 and 30 weeks of gestation and at 6 and 18 months after birth.

DESIGN: National cohort study.

SETTING: Norway.

SAMPLE: A total of 19 291 nulliparous women recruited between 1999 and 2008 from hospitals and maternity units.

METHODS: Questionnaire data were obtained from the longitudinal Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, and register data from the national Medical Birth Register. Advanced maternal age was defined as ≥ 32 years and a reference group of women aged 25-31 years was used for comparisons. The distribution of psychological distress from 20 to ≥ 40 years was investigated, and the prevalence of psychological distress at the four time-points was estimated. Logistic regression analyses based on generalised estimation equations were used to investigate associations between advanced maternal age and psychological distress.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Psychological distress measured by SCL-5.

RESULTS: Women of advanced age had slightly higher scores of psychological distress over the period than the reference group, also after controlling for obstetric and infant variables. The youngest women had the highest scores. A history of depression increased the risk of distress in all women. With no history of depression, women of advanced age were not at higher risk. Changes over time were similar between groups and lowest at 6 months.

CONCLUSION: Women of 32 years and beyond had slightly increased risk of psychological distress during pregnancy and the first 18 months of motherhood compared with women aged 25-31 years.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"