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Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Apr 15;153(8):771-8.

Placental abruption among singleton and twin births in the United States: risk factor profiles.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Obstetrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Saint Peter's University Hospital, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), New Brunswick, NJ, USA. ananthcv/


The authors performed a population-based epidemiologic study to evaluate and contrast risk factor profiles for placental abruption among singleton and twin gestations. Data were derived from linked US birth/infant death files for 1995 and 1996, comprising 7,465,858 singleton births and 193,266 twin births. The authors also evaluated effect modification between smoking and hypertension and the effect of a dose-response relation with number of cigarettes smoked daily on abruption risk. Abruption was recorded in 5.9 per 1,000 singleton births and 12.2 per 1,000 twin births. Risk factors for abruption among singleton and twin births, respectively, included preterm premature rupture of membranes (adjusted relative risks (RRs) = 4.89 and 2.01), eclampsia (RRs = 3.58 and 1.67), anemia (RRs = 2.23 and 2.33), hydramnios (RRs = 2.04 and 1.66), renal disorders (RRs = 1.54 and 2.56), and intrapartum fever (>100 degrees F) (RRs = 1.17 and 1.69). Chronic hypertension (RR = 2.38) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (RR = 2.34) were risk factors for abruption in singleton births but not in twin births. Number of cigarettes smoked daily demonstrated a dose-response trend for abruption risk in singletons and twins. Abruption was more likely to occur among smokers with chronic hypertension (RRs = 4.66 and 3.15) and eclampsia (RRs = 6.28 and 5.08). The authors conclude that abruption is twice as likely to occur in twins as in singletons with differing risk factor profiles. This suggests that abruption in twins may result from different pathophysiologic processes.

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