Impact of delayed childbearing in BC, Canada

Women in developed societies around the world increasingly delay childbearing until the age of 35 or older. In BC, women who are 35 or older account for about 8,000 births a year. There has been little research into the effects of delayed childbearing, and studies that have been undertaken produced contrasting results. Some research suggested an increased risk of complications and other studies showed no greater risk. No research has compared differences in rural and urban settings. Sarka Lisonkova is investigating the impact of delayed childbearing on pregnancy outcomes and infants’ need for health care services in their first year. Using information on 200,000 births across the province from the BC Perinatal Database Registry, Sarka is comparing outcomes and health care utilization from births among 20 to 34-year-old mothers with those 35 and older. She is also reviewing the effect of risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as smoking and fertility problems. The research could help improve prenatal counselling and risk assessment in prenatal care.