Early pregnancy. Scientists warn of the danger of complications in adolescents

Young pregnant girls, ages 10 to 15, are more likely to face an increased risk of complications, including preeclampsia and caesarean section, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas also found that these young patients are more likely to have problems during pregnancy, which are exacerbated by obesity, writes Health Day .

“This study highlights the unique perinatal characteristics of a population that is rarely studied, namely adolescents aged 10 to 15 years,” says author, Dr. Ann Ambia, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Knowing the characteristics and outcomes of these patients shows that we have opportunities to intervene to prevent pregnancy and make a real difference to their well-being.”

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Ambia, her co-author Dr. David Nelson, Chief of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, and colleagues reviewed the medical records of patients under the age of 35 who gave birth for the first time between January 2010 and May 2021 at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The public hospital is considered a safety net that serves patients in Dallas.

Of the more than 33,000 patients they found, 868 were aged 15 or younger while pregnant. The researchers found stark differences when comparing this group with adults.

Their pregnancies dragged on when they started receiving prenatal care. While adults sought medical help closer to 16 weeks, young parents under 19 by 17 weeks, and the youngest group waited until almost 20 weeks of pregnancy. They also made significantly fewer visits to antenatal care providers.

Young patients were more likely to develop eclampsia, a dangerous condition in which high blood pressure leads to seizures during or shortly after pregnancy. They were also more likely to give birth before 37 weeks of gestation. Their babies were more likely to have low birth weight and be admitted to neonatal intensive care units.

Mothers in each of the three groups were overweight or obese, as evidenced by body mass index, a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

Young obese adolescents were more likely than non-obese adolescents to have preeclampsia, high blood pressure that sometimes precedes eclampsia. They were also more likely to give birth by caesarean section.

Teenage pregnancy in the world remains at a high level. For example, in the United States, about 3 out of 10 American girls become pregnant before the age of 20. Although most studies have focused on 15-19 year old girls, much less is known about pregnancy among younger adolescents.

Ambia said the study highlights several areas for identifying risk groups with a focus on preventing pregnancy and improving early access to care.

The study found that young pregnant teenagers are more likely to live in areas with high levels of poverty and unemployment and with lower levels of education.

Access to health care remains a challenge, Ambia said.

“Only half of pregnant teens complete a high school diploma, and their offspring are more likely than children of older parents to become teen parents themselves and suffer from poverty,” Ambia said. for these young parents and their children, we can help break this overarching cycle.”Previously , Focus wrote that a baby weighing 7.3 kg was born in Brazil . The baby was born with a height of 60.9 cm and was born as a result of a caesarean section.

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