Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) claim 74% of global lives, disproportionately affecting lower and middle-income countries like Pakistan. NCDs may increase the risk of preterm birth (PTB), caesarean section (CS), and low birthweight. This study aims to determine whether the high prevalence of NCDs in Pakistan play a role in the high rates of preterm births, and CS. This retrospective cohort study from Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan, investigated effects of pre-existing NCDs on pregnancy outcomes of 817 pregnant women. Medical records were used to generate odds ratios for the risk of PTB, labour outcome and birthweight in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, asthma and thyroid disorders. Multinomial logistic regression and general linear models were used to adjust for confounding variables using IBM SPSS Statistics (v27). Type 2 diabetes significantly increased the risk of PTB and elective CS (both P < 0.05). Elective CS was significantly increased by hypertension and asthma (both, P < 0.05). Surprisingly, asthma halved the risk of PTB (P < 0.05), while type 1 diabetes significantly increased birthweight from 2832 to 3253g (P < 0.001). In conclusion, pre-existing NCDs increase the risk of negative pregnancy outcomes, including PTB, elective CS and birthweight. Asthma, however reduced PTB and justifies further investigation.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Scientific Reports