Fourfold increase in risk of stillbirth after one

25 June 2015

A new study has found that women who experience one stillborn baby are four times as likely to have another stillbirth. 

The meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that, although stillbirth rates have declined across Europe, there is still a significant number of people experiencing it in the UK.

"Stillbirth is one of the most common adverse obstetric outcomes and a traumatic experience for parents," explained Sohinee Bhattacharya and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. 

She said it's important that couples can understand why it has happened and what the risk of the future may be.

However, there is not enough information for the clinical management or to improve prevention so they conducted a systematic review.

They looked at data from 3.4 million women, with 0.7 per cent of these experiencing a stillbirth. The team analysed 12 studies that assessed the risk of stillbirth in second pregnancies, which showed that there was nearly a fivefold increase of stillbirth in a second pregnancy. 

This is much higher than stillbirth linked with medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. After adjusting for other factors, the increased risk was up to fourfold higher.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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