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Paarlberg KM, Vingerhoets JM, Passchier J, Dekker GA, Heinen AG, et al. Psychosocialpredictors of lowbirthweight: a prospectivestudy. BJOG 1999; 106: 834-841.

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Biological, Psychological and Social Conditions Associated with Preterm Birth in Adolescents from Medellin, Colombia

1Public Health, Autonoma University of Manizales, Colombia

2Public Health, University of Alicante, Spain

American Journal of Public Health Research. 2017, Vol. 5 No. 4, 105-114
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-5-4-3
Copyright © 2017 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Hernández J.D., Gómez R.D.. Biological, Psychological and Social Conditions Associated with Preterm Birth in Adolescents from Medellin, Colombia. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2017; 5(4):105-114. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-5-4-3.

Correspondence to: Hernández  J.D., Public Health, Autonoma University of Manizales, Colombia. Email:


To establish the relationship between preterm birth and some biological, psychological and social conditions in pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 19. Materials and Methods: A non-matched case-control study was carried out on a random sample of postpartum adolescents’ ages 15 to 19 years old from the metropolitan area of Medellin, Colombia, who received care in public and private hospitals in the city. A total of 126 postpartum adolescents with preterm birth and 114 controls with term birth were studied. The sample size was calculated based on the prevalence of family dysfunction, estimated at 15% for controls, with an OR (Odds Ratio) of 3.0, reliability of 95%, an error of 0.05 and a power of 80%. A semi-structured assisted and unbound interview that included family Apgar was applied to postpartum adolescents that agreed to participate in the study; additionally, the clinical record was reviewed. Results: The incidence of preterm birth was significantly associated with a greater exposure to family dysfunction during pregnancy (OR = 2.39 CI (Confidence Interval) 95% 1.10-5.20), economic pressures (OR = 2.43 CI 95% 1.16-5.10), as well as social pressures (OR = 1.39 CI 95% 1.07-1.813). The proportion of pregnant adolescents who considered themselves Caucasian was significantly higher in the group with term birth compared to other ethnic groups (OR = 0.219 CI 95%: 0.071-0.672). Recommendations: The findings suggest the importance of monitoring, evaluating and intervening with social support received by the pregnant adolescents from their partner as well as their social and family environment.The fact that most pregnant teenagers did not want their current pregnancy and considered it as an obstacle to their future endevours suggests the importance of defining policies and interventions to provide options that allow them to establish life plans according to their expectations.