Deprived neighborhoods and spontaneous preterm birth: A national cohort study

Job Klumper*, Anita C. J. Ravelli, Carolien Roos, Ameen Abu-Hanna, Martijn A. Oudijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Spontaneous preterm birth is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Environmental socio-economic factors, such as neighborhood deprivation, are known to negatively affect birth outcomes, including overall preterm birth. However, the role of neighborhood deprivation in spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) is unclear. The aim of the study is to 1) to determine the effect of neighborhood deprivation on SPTB birth and 2) to investigate the trend in rates of SPTB between 2010 and 2019 for each quintile of neighborhood deprivation. Study design: Based on the national perinatal registry, we included 1,584,225 singleton pregnancies resulting in a birth from 22 to 42 completed weeks of gestation between 2010 and 2019 in the Netherlands. Deprivation scores per neighborhood were derived from the Netherlands Institute of Social Research and were linked to the perinatal registry data, using the woman's home address. The scores were divided into quintiles (Q). Rates of SPTB were calculated, categorized into <37 weeks, <32 weeks and <28 weeks of gestation. We used logistic regression analysis to adjust for maternal age, parity and ethnicity. Results: Compared to the most affluent neighborhoods (Q1), women in all other quintiles had a statistically significant increased risk for SPTB. The largest effect was observed in the most deprived neighborhoods (Q5); adjusted odds ratio 1.16 (95% confidence interval 1.13 – 1.19). From 2010 to 2019, we observed an overall decrease of 0.21% in SPTB < 37 weeks (p < 0.0001). All quintiles showed a decrease in SPTBs < 37 weeks, but only in Q1, Q2 & Q5 this decline in SPTB was statistically significant. Conclusions: Pregnant women in deprived neighborhoods in the Netherlands are more at risk for spontaneous preterm birth. From 2010 to 2019, the rate of spontaneous preterm birth decreased. Efforts should be made by both governmental and medical professionals to develop intervention programs to reduce spontaneous preterm birth in more deprived neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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