Maternal age and child morbidity: A Danish national cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The mean age at delivery has increased over the latest half of a century. Women of advanced maternal age have increased obstetrical risks and increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities and some other specified diagnoses in the offspring. The aim of this study was to assess the association between maternal age and overall child morbidity according to main diagnosis groups.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a national cohort study including 352 027 live firstborn singleton children. The children were born between Jan 1994 and Dec 2009 and followed to Dec 2012. Children were divided into groups according to maternal age: 15-24, 25-29, 30-34, and 35+ years. Poisson regression analyses calculated adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRR) of child morbidities according to main diagnoses groups A-Q of the International Classification of Disease 10 with adjustment for year of birth, body mass index, smoking, and mother's level of education.

RESULTS: Average follow-up time was 11 years. Compared to children born to women 25-29 years, firstborn children to mothers aged 35+ had higher child morbidity in 8 of 19 main diagnosis groups and firstborn children to mothers 15-24 years had higher child morbidity in 12 of 19 main diagnosis groups. Thus, for a majority of diseases a U-shaped correlation was found, with lowest rates in women 25-29 years.

CONCLUSION: Firstborn children to both older and younger mothers have higher overall morbidity as compared to children born by mothers 25-29 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0174770
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Birth Order, Body Mass Index, Child, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Denmark/epidemiology, Educational Status, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Maternal Age, Morbidity, Smoking/adverse effects, Young Adult

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 195510538