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Psychiatr Serv. 2018 Mar 1;69(3):300-307. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Relationship Between Pregnancy Complications and Psychiatric Disorders: A Population-Based Study With a Matched Control Group.

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The authors are with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia.



This study sought to identify whether pregnancy complications differ between women with and without a psychiatric disorder diagnosis prior to pregnancy.


Women who gave birth between 2007 and 2009 in Pennsylvania and were enrolled in Medicaid from one year prior to their pregnancy until their delivery were included (N=9,930); those with psychiatric disorders were compared with a matched control group (N=4,965 for each). Logistic regression analysis estimated the odds of having a pregnancy complication among those with a psychiatric diagnosis prior to pregnancy, adjusting for demographic characteristics and chronic general medical conditions.


Compared with the control group, women with a psychiatric disorder prior to pregnancy had greater odds of having at least one pregnancy complication (odds ratio=1.48, 95% confidence interval=1.37-1.61). Compared with the control group, their odds of antepartum hemorrhage were 1.50 times higher, their odds of preterm labor were 1.45 times higher, and their odds of preterm birth were 1.61 times higher.


Women with psychiatric disorders prior to pregnancy were more likely to experience pregnancy complications, including pregnancy hemorrhage, preterm labor, and preterm birth, after the analysis controlled for age, race-ethnicity, and chronic illness status before and during pregnancy. The finding of an association between psychiatric disorders and a higher complication risk suggests the importance of population-based preconception interventions for women with psychiatric disorders and prenatal monitoring to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications in this group.


Matched-Control Group Analysis; Population-Based Study; Pregnancy Complication; Women with Psychiatric Disorders

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