(HealthDay News) — The risk of preterm birth and low birth weight is increased for live births for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors (diagnosed at ages 15 to 39), according to a study published online March 23 in JAMA Oncology.

Chelsea Anderson, M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues identified female AYA cancer survivors diagnosed from January 2000 to December 2014 from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry. The authors linked records to statewide birth certificate files to identify postdiagnosis live births to AYA survivors (2,598 births). These were matched with a comparison cohort of 12,990 births to women without a recorded cancer diagnosis.

The researchers found that births to AYA cancer survivors had a significantly increased prevalence of preterm birth, low birth weight, and cesarean delivery relative to the comparison cohort (prevalence ratios, 1.52, 1.59, and 1.08, respectively). The higher prevalence of these outcomes was mainly seen for births to women diagnosed during pregnancy. Treatment with chemotherapy and diagnosis of breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or gynecologic cancers were associated with preterm birth and low birth weight.

“Live births to AYA cancer survivors may have an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, suggesting that additional surveillance of pregnancies in this population is warranted,” the authors write. “Our findings may inform the reproductive counseling of female AYA cancer survivors.”

Abstract/Full Text