ASRM: Miscarriage, Prematurity Up After Hurricane Katrina

ART-conceived singleton pregnancies show increased miscarriage, prematurity after disaster

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For singleton pregnancies conceived through artificial reproductive technology (ART), there was an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as miscarriage and extreme prematurity, following Hurricane Katarina (HK), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, held from Oct. 15 to 19 in Orlando, Fla.

Sangita K. Jindal, Ph.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues examined whether outcomes of 104,724 ART-conceived singleton pregnancies following HK were prone to miscarriage. Cycle parameters, patient characteristics, and gestation details were examined in ART cycles categorized as pre-HK (January 2004 to August 2005) and post-HK (September 2005 to December 2008). Outcomes included prematurity (gestation of less than 37 weeks), extreme prematurity (gestation less than 26 completed weeks), spontaneous abortion (SAB) (gestation less than 24 weeks), and first trimester SAB (gestation of 12 weeks or less).

The investigators found that after adjusting for patient age, infertility diagnosis, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and sperm source, ART cycles started before HK were 87 and 63 percent less likely to sustain a first trimester SAB and a SAB <16 weeks, respectively, on a national level. On adjusted analyses, preterm delivery before 26 weeks was significantly more likely post-HK than in cycles started pre-HK. In the counties which were directly affected by HK, the loss rate was the same pre- and post-HK.

"Increased miscarriage and extreme prematurity in singleton pregnancies conceived through ART are identified as sequelae to a national calamity such as HK," the authors write.

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