According to an extensive, register-based study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland, the risks associated with overweight, smoking, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia are higher in advanced maternal age than in younger expectant mothers.

Advanced maternal age refers to women giving birth at the age of over 35.

In expectant mothers over 35 and who smoked, low birth weight, pre-term birth, foetal death and small-for-gestational-age infant were more likely than in younger expectant mothers.

Being overweight was also associated with increased risk of caesarean section in advanced maternal age.

In the western world, advanced maternal age has been a clearly growing trend over the past decades. Advanced maternal age is also associated with more chronic diseases, which also plays a role in the increased risk levels.

The findings were published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

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