Risk factors of stillbirth in Yemen

: Yemen has the highest stillbirth rate among Arab countries. However, the risk factors of this high rate are lacking. This study aimed to determine the maternal, newborn, and service related risk factors for stillbirths at the main maternity hospital in Sana’a city.
METHODS:A case-control study was conducted in the main maternity hospital in Sana’a city, Yemen. Case and controls were selected prospectively during the study period. Cases were women who delivered stillbirths after 24 weeks of gestation. Risk factors data for mothers and their neonates were collected using face-to-face interview and data abstraction from medical records.
RESULTS:The study included 101 women with stillbirths and 202 women with singleton live births. Mothers older than 35 years (Odds ratio (OR) = 4.9) and those with low level of education were significantly more likely to give stillbirths. Prolonged labor (OR = 5.8), mothers’ anemia (OR = 2.1), less than 4 antenatal visits (OR = 5.1) and meconium stained amniotic fluid (OR = 11.5) were significantly associated with increased odds of stillbirth. Prematurity (OR = 27), umbilical complications (OR = 6.4), low birth weight (OR = 17.7), and congenital complications (OR = 40.6) were significantly associated with higher odds of stillbirths.
CONCLUSIONS: This study identified many risk factors of stillbirth that are amenable to intervention. Encouraging women to deliver at health facilities, providing better management of obstetrical complications, proper antenatal care, and prompt referral services are essential for reduction of stillbirths in Yemen.

*Corresponding Author: 

Yousef Khader, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Department of Community Medicine, Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Irbid 22110, Jordan. Tel.: +962 796802040; E-mail: yskhader@just.edu.jo.