Some of the important pregnancy outcomes such as preterm delivery, growth restriction and low birth weight (LBW) infant, stillbirth, and some long-term chronic diseases vary by race and ethnicity but also tend to be associated with gestational age of the infant at birth. In the United States, during the last 25–30 years, the rate of low birth weight has increased, as has the rate of preterm delivery among both whites and blacks. Examination of causes for these secular trends has focused mainly on changes in the distribution of maternal age, race, and certain psychosocial factors. However, gestational age at birth is associated with most of these pregnancy outcomes, particularly infant mortality, certain morbidities, birth weight, and preterm birth. In this chapter, the association between gestational age and some significant pregnancy outcomes will be discussed.
Part of the book: Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes