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J Epidemiol Community Health 62:16-22 doi:10.1136/jech.2006.050369
  • Research report

Previous abortion and the risk of low birth weight and preterm births

  1. J S Brown, Jr1,
  2. T Adera2,
  3. S W Masho2
  1. 1
    Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  2. 2
    Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  1. Saba W Masho, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, 1000 East Clay Street, P.O. Box 980212, Richmond, Virginia 23298–0212, USA; swmasho{at}vcu.edu
  • Accepted 21 February 2007

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the association between previous abortion and low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PB).

Method: The study examined live, singleton births using data from the United States Collaborative Perinatal Project. Logistic regression was used to control for obstetric and medical history, and lifestyle and demographic factors.

Result: Compared with women with no history of abortion, women who had one, two and three or more previous abortions were 2.8 (95% CI 2.48 to 3.07), 4.6 (95% CI 3.94 to 5.46) and 9.5 (95% CI 7.72 to 11.67) times more likely to have LBW, respectively. The risk for PB was also 1.7 (95% CI 1.52 to 1.83), 2.0 (95% CI 1.73 to 2.37) and 3.0 (95% CI 2.47 to 3.70) times higher for women with a history of one, two and three or more previous abortions, respectively.

Conclusion: Previous abortion is a significant risk factor for LBW and PB, and the risk increases with the increasing number of previous abortions. Practitioners should consider previous abortion as a risk factor for LBW and PB.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.