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Previous Infant Death Ups Subsequent Stillbirth Risk

Black women with previous infant death more likely to have subsequent stillbirth than whites

THURSDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Women whose first pregnancy resulted in infant death are nearly three times more likely to have a stillbirth in a subsequent pregnancy, with black women having a higher risk than white women, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Euna M. August, M.P.H., from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and colleagues investigated the correlation between infant mortality in a first pregnancy and the risk for stillbirth in a second pregnancy in 320,350 women in Missouri who had two singleton pregnancies between 1989 and 2005. Women whose first pregnancy resulted in infant death and those whose infant from the first pregnancy survived the first year of life were compared to assess the probabilities for stillbirth in the second pregnancy.

The investigators found that women with prior infant death were approximately three times more likely to experience stillbirth in their subsequent pregnancy (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.91). Subsequent stillbirth was nearly twice as likely in white women with previous infant death than in white women with a surviving infant (aHR, 1.96), while black women with a previous infant death were more than four times as likely to experience subsequent stillbirth, compared with black women with a surviving infant (aHR, 4.28).

"Previous infant mortality results in an elevated risk for subsequent stillbirth, with the most profound increase observed among black women. Interconception care should consider prior childbearing experiences to avert subsequent fetal loss," the authors write.

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