Older Pregnant Women at an Increased Risk Of Stillbirth
Pregnancy at age 40 and beyond is an independent risk factor for intrauterine fetal demise or stillbirth,
according to an abstract presented by Yale School of Medicine researchers at the Society for MaternalFetal
Medicine Conference February 10 in San Francisco.
The researchers also found that fetal testing at 38 weeks gestation has the greatest impact at reducing
stillbirth rates in older women.
Pregnant patients of advanced maternal age (AMA) are at increased risk for a multitude of pregnancy
complications, including gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, placenta previa and intrauterine
growth restriction. All of these conditions have been associated with a higher rate of stillbirth.
To determine if AMA was an independent risk factor for stillbirth, and when fetal testing would be most
beneficial for reducing stillbirth rates, the authors conducted a cross-sectional study using the United
States CDC perinatal mortality database. The database is made up of 11,061,599 singleton deliveries
between 1995 and 1997. The women in the study were between 15 to 44 years of age who were at least
37 weeks pregnant.
“Our results support routine antenatal testing in those women who are over age 40, beginning at 38
weeks gestation,” said first author Mert Ozan Bahtiyar, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics,
Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. “This will help identify women who are
most at risk for stillbirth.
Other authors on the abstract included Edmund Funai, Errol Norwitz, Catalin Buhimschi, Victor
Rosenberg and Joshua Copel.
Abstract Title: “Advanced Maternal Age (AMA) is an Independent Predictor of Intrauterine Fetal Death