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Repeat Abortions More Common in Older Women

Also more common in women abusing drugs or alcohol

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women seeking an abortion are more likely to have had a previous abortion if they are older or abuse drugs or alcohol, according to a report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sarah W. Prager, M.D., and colleagues from the University of California San Francisco surveyed 398 women receiving an elective abortion to identify correlates of repeat abortion. Of these women, 59 percent were obtaining a repeat abortion.

The researchers found that women 20-29 years old and over 30 years old were significantly more likely to have had a previous abortion than teenagers (odds ratio 2.9 and 6.7, respectively). A previous abortion was also significantly more common in women abusing alcohol or drugs (OR, 2.6) and tended to be more common in women taking depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (OR, 3.2).

"The associations between both alcohol/drug abuse and depo medroxyprogesterone acetate use and repeat abortion are new findings," Prager and colleagues conclude. "Future studies are needed to identify modifiable risk factors for repeat abortion and to identify populations in which interventions, such as long-term contraception, may lower the risk."

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