Pre-Pregnancy Health Risks by Presence and Extent of Disability, 2019 - 2020.

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American Journal of Preventive Medicine

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Introduction Prior studies have shown that, compared to non-disabled women, women with disabilities have a higher burden of preconception mental and physical health risks that are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. This cross-sectional study assesses how the extent of disability relates to pre-pregnancy health risks. Methods This study used 2019-2020 PRAMS data from 22 sites that included the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability (n=37,006). In 2023, associations between extent of disability (none [reference group], some difficulty, or a lot of difficulty) and preconception health risks were examined using multivariable Poisson regression with robust standard errors to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Preconception health risks included smoking, heavy drinking, high blood pressure, diabetes, no multivitamin use, and experiencing physical abuse, depression, or obesity. Individual risks were analyzed, as well as the total number of risks experienced. Results Of respondents, 33.6% had some difficulty and 6.3% had a lot of difficulty. The likelihood of experiencing preconception health risks increased with extent of disability. Compared to respondents with no difficulty, those with some or a lot of difficulty had a higher prevalence of experiencing 1-2 health risks (aPR=1.13, 95%CI 1.09,1.18; aPR=1.20; 95%CI 1.53,2.25) and 3+ health risks (aPR=1.86, 95%CI 1.53,2.25; aPR=2.42, 95%CI 1.98,2.97), respectively. Conclusions Disabled women, especially those with more difficulty, are vulnerable to preconception health risks that could potentially be mitigated before conception. These findings highlight the need for enhanced efforts to support preconception health of disabled women.


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