, Volume 282, Issue 2, pp 135-141,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 28 Aug 2009

Investigation of the association of Apgar score with maternal socio-economic and biological factors: an analysis of German perinatal statistics



To examine the relationship of 5-min Apgar score with maternal socio-economic and biological factors.


We analyzed data from 465,964 singleton pregnancies (37–41 weeks’ gestation) from the German perinatal statistics of 1998–2000. Using a logistic regression model we analyzed the incidence of low (0–6) 5-min Apgar scores in relation to these maternal factors: body mass index (BMI), age, previous live births, country of origin, occupation, single mother status, working during pregnancy, and smoking.


A low Apgar score was more common in overweight [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.24; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–1.40; P < 0.001] and obese [OR 1.92 (95% CI 1.67–2.20); P < 0.001] compared to normal weight women. A low Apgar score was also more common for women aged >35 years compared to those aged 20–35 years [OR 1.35 (95% CI 1.16–1.58); P < 0.001]. Furthermore, odds of a low Apgar score were higher for women with no previous live births compared to those with one or more previous live births [OR 1.52 (95% CI 1.37–1.70); P < 0.001]. Socio-economic factors did not convincingly influence Apgar scores.


There was an influence of the biological maternal factors age, BMI, and parity on the 5-min Apgar score. There was no convincing effect of socio-economic factors on Apgar score in our study population. Possible reasons for this are discussed.