Exposure to life-threatening stressful situations and the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight

Tamar Wainstock, Eyal Y. Anteby, Saralee Glasser, Liat Lerner-Geva, Ilana Shoham-Vardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the association between exposure to life-threatening rocket attacks and the risks of preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW). Methods The present retrospective cohort study compared the outcomes of 1851 births by women exposed to rocket attacks and 2979 births by unexposed women. The timing, frequency, and intensity of exposure were calculated for each trimester and for the entire pregnancy period. Demographic and medical data were abstracted from the patients' records. Results The rates of PTB and LBW were higher among exposed than unexposed women (PTB: 9.1% versus 6.8%, P = 0.004; LBW: 7.6% versus 5.8%, P = 0.02). The rate of infants who were small for gestational age did not differ between the groups. After controlling for potential confounders, the risks for PTB and LBW remained significantly higher in the exposed group (PTB: adjusted odds ratio 1.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.7]; LBW: adjusted odds ratio 1.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.7]). There was no linear association between the intensity of exposure and the risk of PTB or LBW. Conclusion Maternal exposure to intermittent but repeated life-threatening rocket attacks for a prolonged period might be associated with increased risks of PTB and LBW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume125
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Low birth weight
  • Prenatal stress
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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