Is disability a risk factor for miscarriage?
A new study compared the proportion of women with any cognitive, physical, or independent living disability who experienced a miscarriage during the previous 5-year period to women without disabilities. Regardless of the type of disability, a greater proportion of women with a disability had a miscarriage, according to the study results published in Journal of Women's Health.
The article entitled "Miscarriage Occurrence and Prevention Efforts by Disability Status and Type in the United States" was coauthored by Mekhala Dissanayake, MPH, Blair Darney, Ph.D., MPH, Aron Caughey, MD, Ph.D., and Willi Horner-Johnson, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University (Portland), Portland State University, and National Institute of Public Health (Cuernavaca, Mexico).
The researchers analyzed data on 3,843 women in the National Survey of Family Growth and reported that women with disabilities were more likely to receive services to prevent miscarriage compared to women without disabilities. They also found that among women who had a miscarriage, only women with independent living disability were significantly more likely to have experienced two or more miscarriages compared to women without disabilities.
Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health and Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, states: "The researchers found that higher proportions of pregnancies in women with disabilities ended in miscarriages compared to women without disability. Further research is needed to understand why this is true despite higher odds of receiving preventive services among women with disabilities."