Prevalence and correlates of pregnancy loss history in a national sample of children and families

Matern Child Health J. 2006 Nov;10(6):489-500. doi: 10.1007/s10995-006-0123-x.


Public health prevalence data has consistently illustrated disparities in fetal mortality prevalence on a yearly basis, yet few studies have examined the prevalence and correlates of pregnancy loss history during the reproductive life span. Using nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort, approximately 25% of childbearing women in the United States were found to have experienced one or more fetal deaths prior to the current live birth. An examination of the demographic correlates of singular and multiple loss history in age-controlled models reveals that a history of multiple loss was significantly related to African-American race, lower socioeconomic status, income below poverty, and lower maternal education. Singular loss history risk was relatively consistent across social and demographic groups with some increased risk noted only for African-American women. Predictive correlates of fetal mortality varied by racial-ethnic subpopulation in multivariate analysis. Findings from this study are discussed for their contribution to existing public health knowledge and the potential for future research focused on the experience of multiple loss and demographic groups at elevated risk.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / economics
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / ethnology
  • Adult
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Fetal Mortality / trends*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Maternal Age
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Reproductive History
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data