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Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Feb 15;153(4):332-7.

Placental abruption and perinatal mortality in the United States.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick 08901-1977, USA. ananthcv@EPI.UMDNJ.EDU


Placental abruption is an uncommon obstetric complication associated with high perinatal mortality rates. The authors explored the associations of abruption with fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, and perinatal survival. The study was based on 7,508,655 singleton births delivered in 1995 and 1996 in the United States. Abruption was recorded in 6.5 per 1,000 births. Perinatal mortality was 119 per 1,000 births with abruption compared with 8.2 per 1,000 among all other births. The high mortality with abruption was due, in part, to its strong association with preterm delivery; 55% of the excess perinatal deaths with abruption were due to early delivery. Furthermore, babies in the lowest centile of weight (<1% adjusted for gestational age) were almost nine times as likely to be born with abruption than those in the heaviest (> or =90%) birth weight centiles. This relative risk progressively declined with higher birth weight centiles. After controlling for fetal growth restriction and early delivery, the high risk of perinatal death associated with abruption persisted. Even babies born at 40 weeks of gestation and birth weight of 3,500-3,999 g (where mortality was lowest) had a 25-fold higher mortality with abruption. The link between fetal growth restriction and abruption suggests that the origins of abruption lie at least in midpregnancy and perhaps even earlier.

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