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Chance of live birth: a nationwide, registry-based cohort study

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STUDY QUESTION: Does the sequence of prior pregnancy events (pregnancy losses, live births, ectopic pregnancies, molar pregnancy and still birth), obstetric complications and maternal age affect chance of live birth in the next pregnancy and are prior events predictive for the outcome? SUMMARY ANSWER: The sequence of pregnancy outcomes is significantly associated with chance of live birth; however, pregnancy history and age are insufficient to predict the outcome of an individual woman's next pregnancy. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Adverse pregnancy outcomes decrease the chance of live birth in the next pregnancy, whereas the impact of prior live births is less clear. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Nationwide, registry-based cohort study of 1 285 230 women with a total of 2 722 441 pregnancies from 1977 to 2017. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: All women living in Denmark in the study period with at least one pregnancy in either the Danish Medical Birth Registry or the Danish National Patient Registry. Data were analysed using logistic regression with a robust covariance model to account for women with more than one pregnancy. Model discrimination and calibration were ascertained using 20% of the women in the cohort randomly selected as an internal validation set. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Obstetric complications, still birth, ectopic pregnancies and pregnancy losses had a negative effect on the chance of live birth in the next pregnancy. Consecutive, identical pregnancy outcomes (pregnancy losses, live births or ectopic pregnancies) immediately preceding the next pregnancy had a larger impact than the total number of any outcome. Model discrimination was modest (C-index = 0.60, positive predictive value = 0.45), but the models were well calibrated. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: While prior pregnancy outcomes and their sequence significantly influenced the chance of live birth, the discriminative abilities of the predictive models demonstrate clearly that pregnancy history and maternal age are insufficient to reliably predict the outcome of a given pregnancy. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Prior pregnancy history has a significant impact on the chance of live birth in the next pregnancy. However, the results emphasize that only taking age and number of losses into account does not predict if a pregnancy will end as a live birth or not. A better understanding of biological determinants for pregnancy outcomes is urgently needed. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): The work was supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Ole Kirk Foundation and Rigshospitalet's Research Foundation. The authors have no financial relationships that could appear to have influenced the work.N/A.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman reproduction (Oxford, England)
Volume36
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1065-1073
Number of pages9
ISSN0268-1161
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Copyright:
This record is sourced from MEDLINE/PubMed, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

    Research areas

  • clinical prediction model, cohort study, epidemiology, pregnancy loss, recurrent pregnancy loss

ID: 61650910