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Risky Pregnancy Starts At Age 30 for Women

Update Date: Dec 10, 2013 02:16 PM EST

Women who give birth to their first child after the age of 30 are more likely to suffer pregnancy complications, a new study suggests.

Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institutet said that the latest findings suggest that the risk of giving birth to your first child in advanced years increase as early as in the 30-34 age group. In the past, only women over the age of 35 were categorized as being in advanced years.

Te latest study involved data from around one million first-time mothers in Sweden and Norway.

Researchers found that mothers between the ages of 30 to 34 were at an increased risk of giving birth very prematurely or having a stillbirth. Researchers said the latest finding are surprising because first-mothers in this age group were not normally seen as a risk group.

Other factors that significantly increase the risk of serious pregnancy complications include smoking and being overweight or obese. Researchers added that the risk of preterm birth, stillbirth and neonatal mortality were similar to the risks of these lifestyle factors from the age of 35 to 39.

"We were surprised that the risk for certain outcomes increased at such a relatively early age. For women individually, the risk is small, but for society at large there will be a significant number of 'unnecessary' complications with so many women having children just after 30. It would therefore be advisable to inform both women and men, even at schools, of how important age is to child birth," researcher Ulla Waldenström, professor at the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Karolinska Institutet, said in a news release.

Researchers said the next step is to look at the possible consequences of giving birth to your second or third child in advanced years. They explain that most studies have focused on first-time mothers in advanced years.

The findings are published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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