Association of Social Determinants of Health and Clinical Factors with Postpartum Hospital Readmissions among Nulliparous Individuals

Natasha R. Kumar*, William A. Grobman, David M. Haas, Robert M. Silver, Uma M. Reddy, Hyagriv Simhan, Deborah A. Wing, Brian M. Mercer, Lynn M. Yee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Prior data suggest that there are racial and ethnic disparities in postpartum readmission among individuals, especially among those with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Existing reports commonly lack granular information on social determinants of health. The objective of this study was to investigate factors associated with postpartum readmission for individuals and address whether such risk factors differed by whether an individual had an antecedent diagnosis of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP). Study Design This is a secondary analysis of a large, multicenter prospective cohort study of 10,038 nulliparous participants. The primary outcome of this analysis was postpartum readmission. A priori, participants were analyzed separately based on whether they had HDP. Participant characteristics previously associated with a greater risk of perinatal morbidity or readmission (including social determinants of health, preexisting and chronic comorbidities, and intrapartum characteristics) were compared with bivariable analyses and retained in multivariable models if p < 0.05. Social determinants of health evaluated in this analysis included insurance status, self-identified race and ethnicity (as a proxy for structural racism), income, marital status, primary language, and educational attainment. Results Of 9,457 participants eligible for inclusion, 1.7% (n = 165) were readmitted following initial hospital discharge. A higher proportion of individuals with HDP were readmitted compared with individuals without HDP (3.4 vs 1.3%, p < 0.001). Among participants without HDP, the only factors associated with postpartum readmission were chorioamnionitis and cesarean delivery. Among participants with HDP, gestational diabetes and postpartum hemorrhage requiring transfusion were associated with postpartum readmission. While the number of postpartum readmissions included in our analysis was relatively small, social determinants of health that we examined were not associated with postpartum readmission for either group. Conclusion In this diverse cohort of nulliparous pregnant individuals, there was a higher frequency of postpartum readmission among participants with HDP. Preexisting comorbidity and intrapartum complications were associated with postpartum readmission among this population engaged in a longitudinal study. Key Points Non-HDP patients had higher odds of PPR with chorioamnionitis or cesarean. HDP patients had higher odds of PPR if they had GDM or PPH. Characterizing PPR may identify and highlight modifiable factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • hypertensive disease of pregnancy
  • postpartum readmission
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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