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Table 2 Health and health behaviours by age group and mode of conception (% unless otherwise specified)

From: Age, mode of conception, health service use and pregnancy health: a prospective cohort study of Australian women

  Age group (years) Mode of conception
  Up to 30 31 – 36 37 and older SC ARTC
  n = 178 n = 218 n = 196 n = 295 n = 297
Physical health
SF12 Physical Component Score (PCS) Mean (SD)1 43.9 (8.0) 43.4 (9.3) 43.5 (8.5) 44.1 (8.2) 43.1 (9.1)
Self-rated general health Mean (SD) 1=Poor to 5=Excellent1 4.0 (0.8) 4.1 (0.8) 4.1 (0.8) 4.0 (0.8) 4.1 (0.8)
Feeling very well during pregnancy 28.1 28.0 37.2* 28.1 34.0
Health problems in first two trimesters:
Nausea / vomiting 84.3 77.5 76.0 80.7 77.4
Stiff or painful joints 58.4 58.1 49.2 59.5 51.0*
Tender breasts 85.3 83.4 79.6 87.8 77.7*
Vaginal discharge or irritation 56.7 56.9 53.4 56.9 54.4
Heart palpitations 19.7 34.6** 29.9* 28.2 28.8
Health problems in third trimester 2
Carpal Tunnel syndrome 13.9 18.2 19.0 17.7 16.7
Gestational diabetes 4.6 4.2 9.0 3.2 8.5**
Pelvic instability 18.5 24.8 21.7 23.4 20.4
Pre-eclampsia 2.9 7.0 8.5* 5.0 7.5
Placenta praevia 1.2 5.1* 5.3* 2.1 5.8*
Baby growing less well than expected 4.6 6.1 6.9 6.4 5.4
Premature labour 7.5 7.0 7.9 7.1 7.8
Health problems during pregnancy 3
High blood pressure 12.9 11.0 12.2 10.8 13.1
Severe Tiredness 87.6 86.7 88.3 88.5 86.5
Haemorrhoids /other bowel problems 44.9 55.5 55.6 51.2 53.5
Indigestion / heartburn 83.7 80.3 81.6 81.4 82.2
Headaches / migraines 69.7 63.3 64.8 66.4 65.0
Back pain 83.7 81.2 76.5 83.7 77.1*
Vaginal bleeding 24.2 21.6 30.1 21.4 29.0*
Mental health
SF12 Mental Component Score (MCS) Mean (SD)1 52.9 (7.3) 53.1 (8.2) 54.1 (8.2) 52.7 (7.9) 54.0 (8.0)
Episodes of intense anxiety in first two trimesters 49 (27.5) 74 (34.1) 55 (28.4) 94 (32.0) 84 (28.5)
Anxiety or depression in third trimester 7.5 8.4 7.4 9.9 5.8
EDS total score Mean (SD)1 6.0 (4.5) 5.1 (4.3) 4.6 (4.4)** 5.8 (4.6) 4.6 (4.2 )***
EDS Score >14 4.5 3.2 3.1 4.8 2.4
STAI A-State total score Mean (SD)1 32.4 (8.2) 31.6 (9.0) 30.8 (8.6) 32.7 (9.6) 30.5 (7.4)*
STAI state score >40 16.4 14.3 14.8 17.7 12.5
STAI A-Trait total score Mean (SD)1 34.8 (8.3) 34.0 (8.7) 32.8 (8.0)* 34.7 (8.6) 33.0 (8.1)*
STAI trait score >40 24.7 21.7 17.3 21.8 20.5
Mostly or very calm and relaxed 52.8 63.8* 69.9** 59.0 66.0
Health behaviours during pregnancy
Used any prescription medication 13.5* 14.7* 23.0 15.9 18.2
Used any over-the-counter medication 42.1 46.8 46.4 40.7 49.8*
Any smoking 2.8 3.7 2.6 4.1 2.0
Any alcohol 14.7 20.3 16.0 18.1 16.3
Exercising at least weekly 94.9 97.7 90.8** 96.3 92.9
Hospital admissions 3
Pregnancy-related 13.5 15.1 18.4 11.5 19.9**
Non pregnancy-related 0.6 2.3 3.1 0.3 3.7**
  1. 1 For ease of interpretation, means are reported. However, non-parametric Mann–Whitney tests were used to test for between group differences, as the distribution was non-normal.
  2. 2 Derived from postnatal questionnaires items assessing final trimester pregnancy health retrospectively, n=576.
  3. 3 Derived from pregnancy and postnatal questionnaires.
  4. * p<0.05; ** p<0.01; *** p<0.001.
  5. Bold indicates statistically significantly different groups.