Objective To examine the risk of recurrence of stillbirth in the second pregnancy.
Methods All women delivering for the first time between 1981 and 2000 were linked to records of their second pregnancy using routinely collected data from the Scottish Morbidity Returns. Those women who had an intrauterine death in their first pregnancy formed the exposed cohort, while those who had a live birth formed the unexposed cohort in this retrospective cohort study using routinely collected obstetric data.
Outcome Measure Stillbirth in the second pregnancy.
Results A total of 2677 and 306 627 women had a stillbirth and a live birth respectively in their first pregnancy. After adjusting for confounding factors, the odds of recurrence of stillbirth in the second pregnancy were found to be 1.94 (99% CI 1.29 to 2.92) compared to women who had had a live birth in their first pregnancy. Bayesian analysis of data using previous estimate of risk of recurrence1 as prior, found the risk of recurrence of stillbirth in the second pregnancy to be 1.76 (99% credible interval 1.20 to 2.43) in women with a previous stillbirth. Other factors associated with stillbirth in the second pregnancy were abruption (adjusted OR 1.96 (99% CI 1.60 to 2.41)); preterm delivery (adjusted OR 7.45 (99% CI 5.91 to 9.39)) and low birthweight (adjusted OR 6.69 (99% CI 5.31 to 8.41)).
Conclusion Women who have stillbirth in their first pregnancy have a higher risk of recurrence in their next pregnancy.
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