-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women whose first baby
died within a year of birth are at increased risk for stillbirth in
subsequent pregnancies, and the risk is especially high among black
women, researchers report.
The new study looked at 2,483 women with previous infant death
(defined as the death of a child during the first year of life) and
317,867 women whose infant survived the first year of life. Among
all the women in the study, there were 1,347 cases of stillbirth
during the second pregnancy, a rate of 4.2 per 1,000.
The researchers found that, overall, women with previous infant
death were 2.91 times more likely to experience stillbirth in their
subsequent pregnancy than those whose infants survived the first
year of life.
However, black women with previous infant death were 4.28 times
more likely to experience subsequent stillbirth than other black
women, and white women with previous infant death were 1.96 times
more likely to experience subsequent stillbirth than other white
Black women were 9.46 times more likely than white women to
experience stillbirth, and women whose first baby died were more
likely to be black, obese and smoke during pregnancy, the
University of South Florida and University of Rochester researchers
On average, infants born to mothers with previous infant death
were 293 grams smaller at birth than those born to mothers whose
previous infant survived the first year of life, according to the
study published in the Sept. 21 issue of
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and
In addition, the investigators found, mothers who experienced
previous infant death were nearly twice as likely to have
complications in their subsequent pregnancy as women whose infants
survived their first year -- 10.9 percent vs. 6.7 percent,
"Our findings show that there are large disparities in infant mortality rates between white and black women and highlight the need for improved public health efforts to reduce infant mortality," principal investigator Dr. Hamisu Salihu, a professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health, said in a journal news release. "It is important that clinicians note the potential risk for subsequent stillbirth following infant mortality when they speak with patients in the period preceding their next pregnancy."
The March of Dimes has more about
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