OBJECTIVE: to determine whether there is an independent association between physical abuse during pregnancy or stress because of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse during pregnancy and birthweight after adjusting for behavioral, psychosocial, demographic, and medical variables. METHODS: We conducted a cross sectional study of 808 low-income women, age 18 years or older, who delivered single infants from pregnancies of 20 weeks or longer. Abuse during the current pregnancy was measured as reported events of physical abuse and stress because of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. Multiple regression models were developed to estimate the association of low birthweight (LBW) and mean birthweight with abuse during pregnancy, adjusting for behavioral, psychosocial, demographic, and medical variables. RESULTS: Physical abuse during pregnancy was not associated with LBW or with mean birthweight. Women who reported stress because of abuse had 2.1 times higher odds of LBW (95% CI 1.2, 3.6) than those who did not, and the mean birthweight of their infants was 236 g lower (95% CI -371, -102) than those of women who reported no stress because of abuse in the adjusted regression models. Furthermore, the adjusted mean birthweight for LBW infants of women reporting stress because of abuse was significantly lower (-372, 95% CI 595, -149) than for LBW infants of women reporting no stress. CONCLUSIONS: Stress because of abuse during pregnancy was associated with both LBW and lower mean birthweight after adjusting for behavioral, psychosocial, demographic, and medical variables.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972)|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2002|
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