Fertility rates and perinatal outcomes of adolescent pregnancies: a retrospective population-based study1

Maria de Lourdes de Souza, Fiona Lynn, Linda Johnston, Eduardo Cardoso Teixeira Tavares, Odaléa Maria Brüggemann, Lúcio José Botelho

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ObjectiveAnalyze trends in fertility rates and associations with perinatal outcomes for adolescents in Santa Catarina, Brazil. 
MethodsA population-based study covering 2006 to 2013 was carried out to evaluate associations between perinatal outcomes and age groups, using odds ratios, and Chi-squared tests. 
Resultsdifferences in the fertility rate among female adolescents across regions and time period were observed, ranging from 40.9 to 72.0 per 1,000 in mothers aged 15-19 years. Adolescents had fewer prenatal care appointments than mothers ≥20 years, and a higher proportion had no partner. Mothers aged 15-19 years were more likely to experience preterm birth (OR:1.1; CI:1.08-1.13; p<0.001), have an infant with low birthweight (OR:1.1; CI:1.10-1.15; p<0.001) and low Apgar score at 5 minutes (OR:1.4; CI:1.34-1.45; <0.001) than mothers ≥20 years, with the odds for adverse outcomes greater for those aged 10-14 years.
Conclusion: this study provides evidence of fertility rates among adolescents remaining higher in regions of social and economic deprivation. Adolescent mothers and their infants more likely to experience adverse perinatal outcomes. Nurses, public health practitioners, health and social care professionals and educators need to work collaboratively to better target strategies for adolescents at greater risk; to help reduce fertility rates and improve outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2876
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalRevista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem
Publication statusPublished - 06 Apr 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Pregnancy in adolescence
  • Fertility
  • Prenatal care
  • Maternal health
  • Public health


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