Document Type : Original Article
Department of Family Medicine, Kirkuk Public Health Central Laboratory, Kirkuk, Iraq
Al-Kindy College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Background: Prematurity and its complications are the major causes of neonatal and infant morbidity and mortality. Although the cause of preterm labor is often unknown, numerous etiological risk factors may be implicated. To identify the risk factors that lead to prematurity and assess the neonatal outcomes that preterm neonates may develop.
Methods: This case-control study was conducted at AL-Elwiya Pediatric Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq, from the 1st of June to the 31st of December 2019. A non-randomized sample of 700 neonates admitted to the neonatal care unit was included in this study and divided into two groups of preterm full-term neonates as the experimental and control groups, respectively (n=350 each). The same questionnaire was applied to all cases. The test of proportion and the Chi-square test were used to determine significant differences between the two groups.
Results: A significant association was found between preterm birth and the factors of older maternal age (more than 35 years), passive smoking, low educational state, and employed mothers. Moreover, cervical incompetence, premature rupture of membrane, number of fetuses, and gestational hypertension showed significant associations with preterm birth. It was also found that preterm birth was highly associated with such complications as respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage, hypothermia, and hypoglycemia.
Conclusion: Prematurity was associated with certain risk factors, such as older maternal age, multiple gestations, premature rupture of membrane, pre-eclampsia, and diabetes mellitus. Preterm neonates were more liable to develop complications, have hospital admission, and have a higher risk of mortality than the control group.