1Department of Pediatrics, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2Ph.D. in Reproductive Health, Department of Midwifery, School of Medicine, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon Branch, Tonekabon, Iran
Background & Aims: Detection of maternal risk factors associated with neonatal mortality helps to identify high-risk infants and prevent neonatal death. It can also contribute to the design more effective prenatal care. This study was performed aiming to evaluate the maternal risk factors associated with mortality in preterm infants in Mashhad Ghaem Hospital, Iran, during 2009-2014. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 335 dead infants (23 to 40 weeks of gestation). The infants were divided into two groups, according to the history of maternal risk factors: 185 cases (55.20%) with a previous history of normal pregnancy and 150 infants (44.80%) with a history of maternal risk factors. The researcher-made questionnaire containing maternal information, neonatal characteristics, and maternal risk factors was completed. The causes of infants' death were confirmed by the hospital mortality technical committee. Data were analyzed using t and chi-square test via SPSS19.5 software. P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of age, weight, height, head circumference, length of hospital stay, being a twin, gestational age, maternal age, and mode of delivery (P < 0.05 for all). There was history of maternal risk factors in 45% of cases. The most common maternal disease was preeclampsia (14%). Asphyxia in infants with previous history of maternal risk factors, and congenital anomalies in infants with normal pregnancy, were the most common causes of death. Conclusion: As the results indicated, maternal risk factors including preeclampsia, diabetes and placental abruption were involved in neonatal mortality. Maternal risk factors were identified in about half of the infants, who had died within the first week after the birth. Therefore, when these factors are identified during pregnancy, caring of infants during the first week after delivery is recommended.