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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Mar;180(3 Pt 1):639-44.

Cervical length in uncomplicated pregnancy: A study of sociodemographic predictors of cervical changes across gestation.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We conducted this study to evaluate sociodemographic factors associated with changes in the length of the cervix across gestation in pregnancies that resulted in term deliveries.

STUDY DESIGN:

This study is an observational cohort design of sonographically determined cervical length measured at 3- to 4-week intervals in 125 women with a singleton pregnancy between 20 and 32 weeks gestation. We developed a structured questionnaire to collect psychosocial and sociodemographic characteristics. We used bivariate analysis, analysis of variance, and regression analysis to study variation in cervical length.

RESULTS:

Overall, cervical length decreased minimally as gestational age progressed. However, among black women cervical length decreased significantly with increasing gestational age (P =.006). In addition, high psychosocial stress was associated with significantly shorter cervices later in gestation, independent of race (P =.003). Finally, women whose occupations involved skilled manual labor had shorter cervices (P =.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Women who are black, under stress, or working as skilled manual laborers demonstrate significant shortening of the cervix during gestation. Given that a shorter cervix predisposes to preterm delivery, our findings provide new insights into the well-described association of these psychosocial and sociodemographic factors with an increased risk of preterm delivery.

PMID:
10076141
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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