Evid Based Med 6:28 doi:10.1136/ebm.6.1.28
  • Aetiology

Higher maternal age was associated with increased risks for fetal death and ectopic pregnancy

 QUESTION: In pregnant women, what is the extent of risk from maternal age for fetal death (spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, or stillbirth)?


Population based study with linkage of 3 national registries for 1978 to 1992.




634 272 women who were 12 to ⩾45 years of age and had 1 221 546 pregnancies between 1978 and 1992.

Assessment of risk factors

Maternal age at conception and reproductive history (parity and reproductive outcomes in the past 10 years). The calendar year was assessed as a potential confounder.

Main outcome measures

Age related risk for spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth. Information on reproductive outcome was obtained from the national discharge register (spontaneous abortion, hydatidiform mole, and ectopic pregnancy), the medical birth registry (live birth and stillbirth), and the national register of induced abortions. The analysis for the combined effect of maternal age and …