Risk factors related to stillbirth in pregnant mothers: a case-control study

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Epidemiology, Qaen Treatment and Health Network, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.

2 M.Sc. of Epidemiology, Komijan Treatment and Health Network, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

3 B.Sc. of Public Health, Qaen Treatment and Health Network, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.

4 General practitioner, Faculty of Medicine, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.


Introduction: Stillbirth is one of the adverse outcomes of birth in both developing and developed countries. Worldwide, more than a million pregnancies end in stillbirth, most of which occur in low- and middle-income countries. This study was conducted with aim to determine maternal and fetal risk factors for stillbirth in Qaenat city.
Methods: This case-control study was conducted from 2016-2021 on 104 stillbirths and 208 live births (controls) in urban and rural health centers of Qaenat city. Data related to stillbirths were collected using a researcher-made checklist. Data analysis was done using SPSS software (version 26) and chi-square and logistic tests. P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The total stillbirth rate was 9.88 per 1000 live births. In univariate analysis, mother's age (P=0.04), husband's age (P=0.009), history of twin birth (P=0.006), history of underlying disease (P=0.04), gestational age (P=0.001), birth weight (P=0.001), history of abortion (P=0.02) and history of stillbirth (P=0.03) showed a significant relationship with stillbirth. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the birth of a baby under 37 weeks (aOR=17.77, CI:7.20-43.83, P<0.001), birth weight less than 2500 gr (aOR=5.36, CI:2.22-12.96, P<0.001) and history of abortion (aOR=2.38, CI:1.07-5.27, P=0.03) showed a significant relationship with stillbirth.
Conclusion: The prevalence of stillbirth in Qaenat city was relatively high. In this study, several maternal and fetal risk factors such as birth less than 37 weeks gestational age, birth weight less than 2500 gr and history of abortion were identified for stillbirth. Early identification of at-risk pregnancies and appropriate intervention may help reduce the occurrence of stillbirths. Therefore, it is necessary to identify high-risk people and provide them with necessary training and counseling.


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