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Matern Child Health J. 2014 Jan;18(1):29-37. doi: 10.1007/s10995-013-1230-0.

Symptoms associated with pregnancy complications along the Thai-Burma border: the role of conflict violence and intimate partner violence.

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Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College St, 4th Fl, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.
Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
American Refugee Committee, Minnesota, MN, USA.
Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA, USA.


To assess the association between lifetime violence victimization and self-reported symptoms associated with pregnancy complications among women living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Cross-sectional survey of partnered women aged 15-49 years living in three refugee camps who reported a pregnancy that resulted in a live birth within the past 2 years with complete data (n = 337). Variables included the lifetime prevalence of any violence victimization, conflict victimization, intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization, self-reported symptoms of pregnancy complications, and demographic covariates. Logistic generalized estimating equations, accounting for camp-level clustering, were used to assess the relationships of interest. Approximately one in six women (16.0 %) reported symptoms related to pregnancy complications for their most recent birth within the last 2 years and 15 % experienced violence victimization. In multivariable analyses, any form of lifetime violence victimization was associated with 3.1 times heightened odds of reporting symptoms (95 % CI 1.8-5.2). In the final adjusted model, conflict victimization was associated with a 3.0 increase in odds of symptoms (95 % CI 2.4-3.7). However, lifetime IPV victimization was not associated with symptoms, after accounting for conflict victimization (aOR: 1.8; 95 % CI 0.4-9.0). Conflict victimization was strongly linked with heightened risk of self-reported symptoms associated with pregnancy complications among women in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Future research and programs should consider the long-term impacts of conflict victimization in relation to maternal health to better meet the needs of refugee women.

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