Monday, June 15, 2009

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of an adverse pregnancy outcome is highest if both partners are advanced in age.

Paternal age and maternal age are risk factors for miscarriage; results of a multicentre European study
Authors: Elise de La Rochebrochard1; Patrick Thonneau2

Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 17, Number 6, June 2002 , pp. 1649-1656(8)

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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BACKGROUND: It is well known that miscarriage risk increases with age. However, studies usually investigate only maternal age effects. We investigated both maternal age and paternal age effects on miscarriage risk to provide insight into this frequent reproductive failure. METHODS: The last planned pregnancies (n = 3174) that ended in a birth or miscarriage were analysed in a retrospective population-based study on women aged 25–44 years in Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain. Maternal and paternal ages were analysed together, using a single variable `couple age' in a multivariate logistic regression analysis, with couples composed of a woman and a man both aged 20–29 years forming the reference group. RESULTS: After adjustment for various factors (e.g. reproductive history, country), we found that the risk of miscarriage was higher if the woman was aged 35 years, as has already been reported in a number of studies. However, the increase in risk was much greater for couples composed of a woman aged 35 years and of a man aged 40 years. Potential source of bias (especially `reproductive compensation') are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of an adverse pregnancy outcome is highest if both partners are advanced in age.
Keywords: ageing; fetal death; maternal age; paternal age; spontaneous abortion

Document Type: Research article

Affiliations: 1: INED (National Demographic Studies Institute), 75020 Paris and 2: Research Group in Human Fertility, INSERM, La Grave Hospital, 31052 Toulouse, France


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