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Observations related to chronologic and gynecologic age in pregnant adolescents.

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Ecology
  • Medicine


A low chronologic age (less than or equal to 15 years) and low gynecologic age (less than or equal to 2 years) have been considered factors that increase medical complications among adolescent pregnant women. Gynecologic age (GA) is defined in this study as age in years at conception minus age at menarche. Two hundred twelve consecutive pregnant teenagers were followed prospectively in the Teen OB Clinic at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, between August 1978 and July 1981. The clinic population consisted of 37.3 percent Whites, 35.8 percent Hispanics, 20.8 percent Blacks, and 6.1 percent other (mostly Indochinese). Sixty-eight percent of the patients were funded by MediCal. The patient population was divided by chronological age (CA) at conception into those 15 years or less or 16 years or older. A low chronological age was found to be a significant risk factor for premature rupture of membranes. Teenagers with a low gynecologic age (less than or equal to 2) had a lower mean pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (Kg/M2) than teenagers with a higher gynecologic age. In this study, we did not find that a low CA or GA was correlated with a higher frequency of pregnancy-induced hypertension, prenatal medical problems, obstetrical problems at labor or delivery, or an excessive number of low-birthweight infants.

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