Effect of interpregnancy interval on risk of spontaneous preterm birth in Emirati women, United Arab Emirates

Fatima Al-Jasmi, Fatima Al-Mansoor, Aisha Alsheiba, Anne O. Carter, Thomas P. Carter, M. Moshaddeque Hossain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate whether a short interpregnancy interval is a risk factor for preterm birth in Emirati women, where there is a wide range of interpregnancy intervals and uniformity in potentially confounding factors. Methods: A case-control design based on medical records was used. A case was defined as a healthy multiparous Emirati woman delivering a healthy singleton spontaneously before 37 weeks of gestation between 1997 and 2000, and a control was defined as the next eligible similar woman delivering after 37 weeks of gestation. Women were excluded if there was no information available about their most recent previous pregnancy or if it had resulted in a multiple or preterm birth. Data collected from charts and delivery room records were analysed using the STATA statistical package. All variables found to be valid, stable and significant by univariate analysis were included in multivariate logistic regression analysis. Findings: There were 128 cases who met the eligibility criteria; 128 controls were selected. Short interpregnancy intervals were significantly associated with case status (P<0.05). The multivariate adjusted odds ratios for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quartiles of interpregnancy interval compared with the lowest-risk 3rd quartile were 8.2, 5.4, and 2.0 (95% confidence intervals: 3.5-19.2, 2.4-12.6, and 0.9-4.5 respectively). Conclusion: A short interpregnancy interval is a risk factor for spontaneous preterm birth in Emirati women. The magnitude of the risk and the risk gradient between exposure quartiles suggest that the risk factor is causal and that its moification would reduce the risk of preterm birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-875
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Birth intervals
  • Case-control studies
  • Causality
  • Confounding factors (Epidemiology)
  • Labor, Premature/etiology
  • Risk factors
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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