Placenta previa and the risk of preterm delivery

Marya G. Zlatnik, Yvonne W. Cheng, Mary E. Norton, Mari Paule Thiet, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Objectives. We aimed to quantify the risk of preterm delivery and maternal and neonatal morbidities associated with placenta previa. Study design. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of singleton births that occurred between 1976 and 2001, examining outcomes including preterm delivery and perinatal complications. Multivariate logistic regression was used to control for potential confounders. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed to compare preterm delivery in pregnancies complicated by previa vs. no previa. Results. Among the 38 540 women, 230 women had previas (0.6%). Compared to controls, pregnancies with previa were significantly associated with preterm delivery prior to 28 weeks (3.5% vs. 1.3%; p = 0.003), 32 weeks (11.7% vs. 2.5%; p < 0.001), and 34 weeks (16.1% vs. 3.0%; p < 0.001) of gestation. Patients with previa were more likely to be diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage (59.7% vs. 17.3%; p < 0.001) and to receive a blood transfusion (11.8% vs. 1.1%; p < 0.001). Survival curves demonstrate the risk of preterm delivery at each week and showed an overall higher rate of preterm delivery for patients with a placenta previa. Conclusions. Placenta previa is associated with maternal and neonatal complications, including preterm delivery and postpartum hemorrhage. These specific outcomes can be used to counsel women with previa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-723
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 6 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Placenta previa
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Preterm delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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