Introduction The negative effects of pregnancy in adolescence on maternal and child health have been described. However gaps in the literature examination the association between this exposure and outcome remain. The aim of this study was to examine the association between socioeconomic characteristics of three groups of mothers (adolescents (<20 years old), women ≥20 years old with a previous pregnancy during adolescence and women ≥20 years old without a pregnancy during adolescence) and low birth weight (<2500 g).
Methods 1681 women in the first trimester of pregnancy were interviewed in two cities; follow-up at postpartum was available for 1540. To verify the hypothesis of homogeneity of proportions, χ2 tests were used. To verify the association with low birth weight we conducted crude and adjusted logistic regression analyses with a significance level of 0.05.
Results Women ≥20 years old with a history of pregnancy in adolescence were more socioeconomically deprived than other groups. Compared to women ≥20 years old without a history of pregnancy in adolescence, women ≥20 years old with a history of pregnancy in adolescence had a lower level of educational attainment [OR 2.68], lower social status [OR 1.96] and lower income [OR 2.71]. Low birth weight was greater in the children of adolescent mothers [OR 1.36].
Conclusions These findings suggest that in Brazil adolescent pregnancy is a social problem and women with a pregnancy in adolescence are socioeconomically disadvantaged through their lives.
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