Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 1553–1558 | Cite as

Effects of Advanced Maternal Age and Race/Ethnicity on Placental Weight and Placental Weight/Birthweight Ratio in Very Low Birthweight Infants

  • B. E. de Jongh
  • A. Mackley
  • N. Jain
  • R. Locke
  • D. A. Paul


To study the association of advanced maternal age (AMA) and race/ethnicity on placental pathology in very low birthweight (VLBW) infants. Retrospective analysis of placental pathology of inborn singleton VLBW infants from a regional level 3 NICU between July, 2002 and June, 2009. Subjects were stratified by age and race/ethnicity. Statistical analysis included One-way ANOVA, Chi Square and multivariable analyses. A total of 739 mother/infant dyads were included. AMA was associated with a decrease in placental weight and placental weight/birthweight ratio. Black/Non-Hispanic mothers ≥35 had a lower placental weight (p = 0.01) and lower placental weight/birth weight ratio (z-score, −0.45 ± 0.71 vs −0.04 ± 1.1, p = 0.01) compared to Black/Non-Hispanic mothers <35 years of age. After controlling for gestational age, race/ethnicity, maternal diabetes, maternal smoking, maternal hypertension and clinical chorioamnionitis, AMA, but not race/ethnicity, remained independently associated with placental weight/birthweight ratio z score (full model r2 = 0.22, p < 0.01). In our study sample of VLBW infants, placental weight and placental weight/birthweight ratio were lower in mothers of advanced maternal age compared to mothers <35 years of age. Our data suggest that maternal age affects placentation in VLBW infants, which could influence maternal and neonatal outcomes.


Placenta Prematurity Maternal age Race/ethnicity 


Conflict of interest

The authors of this paper have nothing to disclose. No financial or non-financial interests to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. E. de Jongh
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Mackley
    • 3
  • N. Jain
    • 5
  • R. Locke
    • 3
    • 4
  • D. A. Paul
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Neonatal-Perinatal MedicineSt. Christopher’s Hospital for ChildrenPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeonatologyChristiana Care Health SystemNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsChildren’s National Medical CenterWashingtonUSA

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