Pregnancies and births among adolescents: a population-based prospective study in rural Vietnam

Type Journal Article - Sexual & Reproductive HealthCare
Title Pregnancies and births among adolescents: a population-based prospective study in rural Vietnam
Volume 1
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 15-19
To describe birth rates and pregnancy outcomes, specifically stillbirth, preterm delivery and low birth weight (LBW) in relation to socio-demographic characteristics, among adolescent women in a rural district in northern Vietnam.

Material and method
Within an epidemiological field laboratory, quarterly surveillance of 7767 adolescent women in the ages 15–19 during the period January 1999 to December 2005 was conducted. Birth rates were calculated and pregnancy outcomes were described in relation to background factors.

A total of 1021 pregnancies were reported by 926 adolescent women during the period of whom 17% were below 18 years. The estimated adolescent birth rate during 1999–2005 was 27/1000 women-years. The incidence of stillbirth among all births was 19/1000 births. These were more likely to be delivered preterm. The incidence of preterm deliveries and LBW infants was 193 and 75 per 1000 live births, respectively. There were no differences in socio-demographic background for stillbirth, preterm delivery or LBW.

Adolescent birth rates were similar to those found in the recent Vietnamese DHS and considerably lower than the average for South-East Asia. Higher rates of stillbirth and preterm delivery were found than those previously reported for Vietnam, indicating the need for careful monitoring of adolescent pregnancies and their infants. Further research is needed to explore if and how much socio-demographic variables influence pregnancy outcome, comparing more differentiated groups, as a basis for interventions to assure access to adequate reproductive health care services for all women.

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