Prenatal maternal stress associated with potentially life threatening situations and preterm birth and low birthweight

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

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


To analyze the association between chronic stress caused by frequent exposure to life-threatening rocket attacks, and the risk of preterm birth (PTB) and delivery of low birthweight (LBW) infants.
Study Design
A retrospective cohort study. The deliveries of women residing in a town exposed to rocket attacks (Exposed Group) were compared to deliveries of women who lived in an unexposed town (Unexposed Group). Demographic and medical data were abstracted from patients' records at the medical center serving both towns. Exposure information was obtained from official local authorities. Intensity of exposure was calculated for both the preconception and pregnancy periods.

The rates of PTB and LBW were higher in Exposed vs. Unexposed Groups (9.1% vs. 6.8%, P=0.004; and 7.6% vs. 5.8%, P=0.02, respectively) . After controlling for possible confounders, including marital status, maternal age, background health problems and gestational hypertension, the risk for both outcomes remained significantly higher in the Exposed Group (PTB: adj. OR= 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.7; LBW: adj. OR=1.3, 95%CI 1.03-1.7). Among exposed subjects, no linear association was found between these risks and the intensity of exposure either preconception or during pregnancy.

Chronic exposure to life-threatening events during preconception and pregnancy is associated with increased risk of PTB and LBW.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)S306-S306
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


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