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Open Access Research article

Comparison of medical issues in antenatal and perinatal periods in early youth, adolescent, and young adult mothers in Taiwan: a 10-year nationwide study

Chun-Che Huang1, Yung-Chieh Lin2, Yu-Tung Huang34* and Kuang-Hua Huang5

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

2 Department of Pediatrics, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, & Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

3 Master Degree Program in Aging and Long-Term Care, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

4 The Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Research Center, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan

5 Department of Health Service Administration, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:260  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-260

Published: 4 August 2014



Limited information is available concerning investigating the separate effect of teenage childbirth on medical issues in the antenatal and perinatal periods. Therefore, this study aimed to assess medical problems in antenatal and perinatal periods among early youth, adolescent and young adult mothers in Taiwan.


This retrospective population-based cohort study was conducted by using data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 335,590 mothers aged less than 25 years who had singleton births were identified between 2002 and 2011. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of each medical problem category in the antenatal and perinatal periods.


Compared with mothers aged 20–24 years, adolescents (16–19 years) and early youth mothers (≤15 years), particularly those aged 10–15, had a significantly higher risk of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR, OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.00–1.89) and preterm delivery (OR = 2.98, 95% CI: 2.48–3.58) after adjusting for demographic characteristics and clinical factors. Additionally, adolescents mothers were at an increased risk of anemia (OR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.24–1.40), oligohydramnios (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.12–1.32), failed labor induction (OR = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.24–1.43), and fetal distress (OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.14–1.26) after adjustment.


Not all young mothers in our study experienced the same magnitude of increased medical problems in the antenatal and perinatal periods. However, a sufficiently higher probability of having IUGR and preterm delivery was observed among early youth and adolescent mothers.

Adolescents; Maternal age; Delivery; Medical issues