Women whose first pregnancy ends in infant death are significantly more likely to have a subsequent stillbirth, a new study has said.
The study undertaken by US researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Rochester looked at 320,350 women who had two singleton pregnancies between 1989 and 2005.
Of the tested women, 2,483 women (0.78 percent) had experienced infant death in the first pregnancy, while the remaining 317,867 women had an infant in their first pregnancy who survived the first year of life, whereas within the study population, 1,347 cases of stillbirth occurred during the second pregnancy, representing a stillbirth rate of 4.2 per 1,000.
Mothers with previous infant death (defined as death of a child within the first year of life) were compared to those whose infant survived their first year and adjusted hazard ratios (AHR) were generated to assess the association between infant mortality in the first pregnancy and stillbirth in the second pregnancy.
The study found that overall women with prior infant death were three times as likely to experience stillbirth in their subsequent pregnancy (AHR=2.91).
While white women with previous infant death were nearly twice as likely to experience subsequent stillbirth, compared to white women with prior infant survival (AHR=1.96), black women with previous infant death were more than four times as likely to experience subsequent stillbirth, compared to their black counterparts (AHR=4.28).
The study has been published in the 21st September issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.