Women who were born preterm are at an increased risk of giving birth to premature babies, new research says.
"Our findings are unequivocal. The simple fact of being born prematurely increases the risk of premature delivery," said lead author of the study Ariane Boivin from University of Montreal in Canada.
The researchers analysed data from a cohort of 7,405 Canadian women, who were born preterm, over a period of 19 years, from 1976 to 1995, and compared it to that of women born at term.
In the study, 13% of women born before 37 weeks of gestation gave birth prematurely at least once, compared to 9.5% of women born at term.
Interestingly, this figure increased to 14% in women born before 32 weeks.
"Knowing that being born preterm is a risk factor for expectant mothers, obstetricians could inform their patients of the warning signs of premature labour, so they can be vigilant and respond quickly if contractions occur," senior author Anne Monique Nuyt from University of Montreal explained.
The study was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology.