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Couples Who Lose a Pregnancy More Likely to Break Up

Relationships at higher risk of dissolving after stillbirth or miscarriage than after live birth

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Married or cohabitating couples are at a higher risk for breaking up after experiencing a stillbirth or miscarriage than those who experience a live birth, according to research published online April 5 in Pediatrics.

Katherine J. Gold, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data from the National Survey of Family Growth to conduct a survival analysis of 7,770 pregnancies to evaluate the outcomes of marriages and cohabitations after stillbirth, miscarriage, or live birth.

The researchers found that 82 percent of the pregnancies ended in live births, 16 percent in miscarriages, and 2 percent in stillbirths. Even after controlling for other risk factors, such as lower maternal age, cohabitation, previous live birth, race, and shorter duration of the relationship, they found that women who had miscarriages or stillbirths had a significantly higher risk of their relationship ending (hazard ratios, 1.22 and 1.40, respectively) than women who had live births.

"This is the first national study to establish that parental relationships have a higher risk of dissolving after miscarriage or stillbirth, compared with live birth. Given the frequency of pregnancy loss, these findings might have significant societal implications if causally related," the authors write.

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