Perinatal outcomes of socially disadvantaged women in Victoria, Australia: A population-based retrospective cohort study of 1,188,872 singleton births 1999-2016

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      To examine the perinatal outcomes of women who experience social disadvantage using population-based perinatal data collected between 1999 and 2016.


      Population-based, retrospective cohort study.


      Victoria, Australia.

      Population or Sample

      A total of 1,188,872 singleton births were included.


      Cohort study using routinely collected perinatal data. Multiple logistic regression was performed to determine associations between social disadvantage and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes with confidence limits set at 99%. Time trend analysis for perinatal outcomes was performed in relation to area level disadvantage measures.

      Main outcome measures

      Incidence of maternal admission to Intensive Care Unit (ICU), postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) and caesarean section, perinatal mortality, preterm birth, low birthweight (LBW), and admission to special care nursery/neonatal intensive care unit (SCN/NICU).


      Social disadvantage was associated with higher odds of adverse perinatal outcomes. Disadvantaged women were more likely to be admitted to ICU, have a PPH or experience perinatal mortality (stillbirth or neonatal death) and their neonates more likely to be admitted to SCN/NICU, be born preterm and be LBW. A persistent social gradient existed across time for the most disadvantaged women for all outcomes except caesarean section.


      Social disadvantage has a marked negative impact on perinatal outcomes. This aligns with national and international evidence regarding the impact of disadvantage. Strategies that improve access to, and reduce fragmentation in, maternity care in addition to initiatives that address the social determinants of health may contribute to improving perinatal outcomes for socially disadvantaged women.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Women and Birth
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect