The cost of preterm labor and preterm birth for mothers with uncomplicated pregnancies and their infants in Italy: a retrospective cohort study

<p><b>Background</b>: Preterm labor (PTL)/preterm birth (PTB) impose significant burden on health-care systems. Women with uncomplicated pregnancies at risk of PTL/PTB have not been widely investigated, and published evidence on the costs of these women and their infants in Italy is absent. We aimed to describe women with uncomplicated pregnancies and associated costs for these women and their infants.</p> <p><b>Methods</b>: Data on women aged 12–44 years with uncomplicated pregnancies who delivered between 1 September 2009 and 31 December 2014 with PTL diagnosis alone or PTL and PTB were included from four Italian databases. Costs were examined during pregnancy, delivery, and 3 years after delivery for mothers and infants, overall and by gestational age (GA).</p> <p><b>Results</b>: A total of 3058 mothers linked to 3333 infants were included. Costs during pregnancy were €1777. Costs during delivery for PTL/PTB mothers and their infants ranged from €3174 (GA ≥37) to €21007 (GA <28). Combined maternal and infant costs appeared higher for births with lower GAs (<37) in the three-year follow-up.</p> <p><b>Conclusions</b>: In Italy, PTL/PTB mothers with uncomplicated pregnancies with infants at lower GAs appeared to incur higher medical costs compared to mothers with infants at higher GAs in all three time periods, with particularly marked differences found when considering mother and infant combined costs.</p>