Background: The interpregnancy interval (IPI) defines the time between two consecutive gestations. In the general population, women with IPIs that fall outside the recommended 18-24 month range appear to be at modestly increased risk for adverse obstetric outcomes.
Objective: The aim of this review was to assess the impact of extremes in IPI in populations with an increased baseline risk for adverse obstetric outcomes due to disparities in health and health care, including racial and ethnic groups, adolescents, and those of lower socioeconomic status.
Methods: We conducted a MEDLINE/Pubmed literature search in February 2016. Identified articles were reviewed and assigned a level of evidence.
Results: The 24 studies included in our final review were mainly retrospective with considerable heterogeneity in definitions and outcomes that prevented a quantitative meta-analysis.
Conclusion: The results of our review suggest that at-risk populations may have an increased frequency of shortened IPIs though the impact appears to be moderate and inconsistent. There was insufficient evidence to draw meaningful conclusions regarding a prolonged IPI or the effect of interventions. Based on the current literature, underserved populations are more likely to have a shortened IPI which increased the incidence of prematurity and low birth weight in some groups though the effect on additional obstetric outcomes is difficult to assess.