This study evaluated the impact of maternal marital status on birth outcomes among young Malaysian women and investigated other risk factors influencing the birth outcomes. Pregnant women with and without marital ties at the point of pregnancy diagnosis were invited to participate in this study. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire at pregnancy diagnosis and shortly after childbirth. From a total of 229 unmarried and 213 married women who participated, marital status was significantly associated with preterm birth (odds ratio [OR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-2.61) and low birth weight (OR, 3.61; 95% CI, 1.98-6.57). Other factors significantly associated with birth outcomes was prenatal care (OR, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.43-16.95), "use of drugs" (OR, 10.39; 95% CI, 1.14-94.76), age (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.07-1.16), and number of prenatal visits (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.07). Promoting access to prenatal care and social support programs for unmarried mothers may be important to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.