Maternal age and body mass index as risk factors for rectovaginal colonization with group B streptococci

Mohammad Rohi El Khalil*, Camilla Mirian Hartvigsen, Poul Bak Thorsen, Jens Kjølseth Møller, Niels Uldbjerg

*Corresponding author for this work

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To examine the effect of including maternal age and body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) as additional risk factors in the traditional risk-based strategy at term pregnancies consisting of previous early-onset group B streptococcus (GBS) disease, GBS bacteriuria during pregnancy, maternal temperature of 38.0°C or more intrapartum, and rupture of membranes of 18 h or longer.

A secondary analysis of a Danish cohort including 902 pregnant women. Exposures were maternal age and pre-pregnancy BMI. Outcome was rectovaginal GBS colonization at the time of labor. The logistic regression analysis adjusted for parity, gestational age, vaginal delivery, and smoking.

The GBS prevalence was 17% in the entire population, 35% among participants older than 40 years, and 23% among those with a BMI of 25 or greater. Including maternal “age > 40” as an additional risk factor increased the sensitivity of the risk-based strategy from 21% to 26% and decreased the specificity from 90% to 87%. Inclusion of “BMI ≥ 25” increased the sensitivity from 21% to 57% and decreased the specificity from 90% to 59%.

Maternal age and BMI might be included as additional risk factors in risk-based programs for identification of GBS-positive laboring women to receive intrapartum antibiotics prophylaxis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)303-307
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Streptococcal Infections/epidemiology
  • Streptococcus agalactiae
  • Vagina


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