Miscarriage Occurrence and Prevention Efforts by Disability Status and Type in the United States

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Journal of Women's Health

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Background: Very little is known about early pregnancy loss in women with disabilities. To address this gap, we analyzed nationally representative data on miscarriage and receipt of care focused on miscarriage prevention among women with and without disabilities.

Materials and Methods: We used 2011–2015 National Survey of Family Growth data on women with at least one completed pregnancy within the past 5 years. Bivariate and multivariate analyses assessed the association of six disability categories (any, hearing, vision, cognitive, physical, independent living) with miscarriage occurrence and receipt of services intended to prevent miscarriage.

Results: Our analytic sample included 3,843 women with 5,776 completed pregnancies within the past 5 years. Overall, 31.63% of women with disabilities and 21.83% of women without disabilities had had a miscarriage within the past 5 years. Compared to women without disabilities, women with any, cognitive, physical, and independent living disability had higher adjusted odds of experiencing miscarriage (any disability aOR = 1.65 [95% CI: 1.21–2.25]). These women also had higher odds of receiving services to prevent miscarriage compared with women without disabilities (any disability aOR = 1.71 [95% CI: 1.20–2.45]). Among women who received services, higher proportions of women with any, vision, physical, or independent living disability received recommendations for bed rest (e.g., 65.007% of women with independent living disability vs. 33.98% of women without disability, p = 0.018).

Conclusions: In a representative sample of U.S. women, we found significant differences in the odds of miscarriage and in receipt of care to prevent miscarriage between women with and without disabilities. Further research is needed to understand why women with disabilities are more likely to experience a miscarriage. Such research is important for informing care recommendations.


©Copyright 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers



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