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Partner violence during pregnancy and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes

Authors

  • Ann L. Coker,

    Corresponding author
    1. a University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, b Brownsville Regional Campus, TX, c formerly with University of South Carolina, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC, and d South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Columbia, SC, USA
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  • a,c Maureen Sanderson,

    1. a University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, b Brownsville Regional Campus, TX, c formerly with University of South Carolina, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC, and d South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Columbia, SC, USA
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  • and b,c Beili Dong c,d

    1. a University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, b Brownsville Regional Campus, TX, c formerly with University of South Carolina, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC, and d South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Columbia, SC, USA
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Professor Ann L. Coker, University of Texas School of Public Health, 1200 Herman Pressler Dr., PO Box 20186, Houston, TX 77225, USA. E-mail: acoker@sph.uth.tmc.edu

Summary

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between partner physical or emotional abuse during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes including perinatal death, low birthweight and preterm delivery. Women, aged 18–65, who attended one of two large primary care practices from 1997–98 were recruited for this study. Ever pregnant women were asked the frequency of abuse during each pregnancy and details of the pregnancy outcomes. Information regarding abuse during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes was available for 755 women surveyed who reported a live birth or late fetal death, 14.7% indicated that an intimate partner was violent or abusive toward them during a pregnancy (274 of 1862 pregnancies). Abuse during pregnancy was significantly associated with an increased risk of perinatal death (adjusted relative risk [aRR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 3.4) and, among live births, with preterm low birthweight (aRR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.5, 4.0) and term low birthweight (aRR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.0, 3.4). Greater abuse frequency was associated with increased risk. Abuse during pregnancy was associated with perinatal deaths and preterm low birthweight deliveries.

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