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Shorter Intervals Between Pregnancies Do Not Appear to Increase Adverse Outcomes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 24, 2014

Shorter Intervals Between Pregnancies Do Not Appear to Increase Adverse Outcomes

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Having pregnancies in quick succession was not associated with increased risk for adverse birth outcomes in a study in the BMJ. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2 years between birth and subsequent pregnancy.

Using Australian healthcare databases, researchers studied over 40,000 women who had three births. The time between a women's first and second pregnancy was compared with that between her second and third, allowing each woman to be her own control.

Compared with 18 to 23 months between pregnancies, shorter interpregnancy times were not significantly associated with increased risk for preterm birth, small for gestational age, or low birth weight in fully adjusted models.

The authors write: "Our study suggests that adverse birth outcomes are not the result of short interpregnancy intervals in themselves but are due to correlated maternal risk factors … such as socioeconomic and lifestyle factors."

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