Uterine blood flow and complications in pregnancy in women aged 35+

Advanced maternal age and increased risk of hypertensive disorders, a small-for-gestational-age infant and gestational diabetes? This study shows that it is all about the blood flow, not about age.

Early uterine artery Doppler velocimetry and the outcome of pregnancy in women aged 35 years and older

H. J. van den Elzen1, T. E. Cohen-Overbeek1, D. E. Grobbee2, R. W. P. Quartero1, Professor J. W. Wladimiroff1,*
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2003

DOI: 10.1046/j.1469-0705.1995.05050328.x

Keywords:
uterine artery;Doppler;pregnancy outcome;advanced age
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to determine whether first-and second-trimester uterine artery Doppler velocimetry are associated with pregnancy complications in women of advanced maternal age. A prospective cohort study of 352 women aged 35 years and older was studied. The pulsatility index (PI) values at 12–13 weeks of gestation were significantly associated with development of hypertensive disorders, a small-for-gestational-age infant and gestational diabetes, with a relative risk exceeding 4, 2 and 8, respectively for women with PI values in the highest quartile (> 1.67) of the PI distribution when compared with the lowest quartile of the PI distribution (< 1.24). At 23–27 weeks' gestation, uterine artery PI values were found to be associated with preterm delivery with a gestational age-adjusted risk of 10.6 for women with PI values in the highest quartile of PI (> 1.24) when compared with PI values in the lowest quartile of the PI distribution (< 1.09). No associations existed between uterine artery PI, antepartum hemorrhage and Cesarean section rate. The risk estimates for any of the outcome parameters were not affected by maternal age. Results indicate that hemodynamic changes detectable in the uterine artery as early as the first trimester of pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of hypertensive disorders, a small-for-gestational-age infant and gestational diabetes. A similar association exists in the late second trimester of pregnancy, with an increased risk of preterm delivery.