Objective: The present study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of pregnancy complications in a live-birth preceding the appearance of recurrent abortions.
Methods: A case-control study comparing women who had at least two consecutive spontaneous abortions after one live birth with matched controls, without recurrent abortions, was performed. Cases were recruited from the Recurrent Abortions Clinic. The women in the control group were matched by the following parameters: age, pregnancy order and having had a live birth in the same year as the study group. Four controls were matched for each case. The analysis focused on the characteristics of the live-birth preceding the recurrent abortions of the study group and the births of the matched controls.
Results: From Jan 2001 through Dec 2002, 140 women were examined in the Outpatient Clinic for Recurrent Abortions. Of these, 58 women who had a live-birth prior to at least two consecutive spontaneous abortions comprised the study group, which was compared with 232 controls. A statistically significant higher rate of preeclampsia (mild and severe) was found in a live-birth preceding recurrent abortions than in the matched controls (10.3 vs. 3.9%, p=0.047). In addition, a nonsignificant trend was found for higher rates of non-reassuring fetal heart rate patterns (8.6 vs. 3.0%, p=0.055) in this group. No other significant differences regarding maternal or neonatal complications such as placental abruption, intrauterine growth restriction, and intrauterine fetal death were noted between the groups.
Conclusions: A live-birth preceding the appearance of recurrent abortions is associated with a higher rate of preeclampsia.