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Mahdi Sepidarkish 1 Article
Prevalence and Determinants of Preterm Birth in Tehran, Iran: A Comparison between Logistic Regression and Decision Tree Methods
Payam Amini, Saman Maroufizadeh, Reza Omani Samani, Omid Hamidi, Mahdi Sepidarkish
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2017;8(3):195-200.   Published online June 30, 2017
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AbstractAbstract PDF

Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading cause of neonatal death and the second biggest cause of death in children under five years of age. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of PTB and its associated factors using logistic regression and decision tree classification methods.


This cross-sectional study was conducted on 4,415 pregnant women in Tehran, Iran, from July 6–21, 2015. Data were collected by a researcher-developed questionnaire through interviews with mothers and review of their medical records. To evaluate the accuracy of the logistic regression and decision tree methods, several indices such as sensitivity, specificity, and the area under the curve were used.


The PTB rate was 5.5% in this study. The logistic regression outperformed the decision tree for the classification of PTB based on risk factors. Logistic regression showed that multiple pregnancies, mothers with preeclampsia, and those who conceived with assisted reproductive technology had an increased risk for PTB (p < 0.05).


Identifying and training mothers at risk as well as improving prenatal care may reduce the PTB rate. We also recommend that statisticians utilize the logistic regression model for the classification of risk groups for PTB.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives