- Abuse is associated with a woman's risk for preterm delivery (PTD) and having a low-birth-weight (LBW) infant.
- Timing and length of abuse may be important as well.
Why this matters
- When chronic stress tips over the threshold, a person may become vulnerable to disease.
- A history of abuse may be associated with high-risk behaviors including tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse as well as inadequate social support and prenatal care.
- PTD (14 studies) risk increased with (ORs)
- Abuse during childhood: 1.25 (P=.008);
- Abuse during married life before pregnancy, but not significantly: 1.26 (P=.29); and
- Abuse 12 months prior to pregnancy: 1.28 (P=.002).
- LBW (11 studies; ORs):
- Abuse during childhood increased risk of having a LBW infant: 1.57 (P=.06);
- Abuse during married life before pregnancy did not increase the risk: 1.09 (P=.38);
- Abuse 12 months prior to pregnancy increased risk: 1.35 (P=.0004).
- Systematic review and meta-analysis (16 studies included in final analysis).
- Funding: University of Alberta; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Alberta Strategic Patient Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit.
- Heterogeneity among studies.
- Pooling data does not account for confounders.