Objective: To test the hypothesis that the presence of preeclampsia, small for gestational age (SGA)-birth, and placental abruption in the first pregnancy confers increased risk in the second pregnancy.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study entailing a case-crossover analysis was performed based on women who had two consecutive singleton live births (n=154,810) between 1989 and 1997 in Missouri. Small for gestational age was defined as infants with birth weight below the 10th centile for gestational age. Risk and recurrence of ischemic placental disease was assessed from fitting logistic regression models after adjusting for several confounders.
Results: Preeclampsia in the first pregnancy was associated with significantly increased risk of preeclampsia (odds ratio 7.03, 95% confidence interval 6.51, 7.59), SGA (odds ratio 1.16, 95% confidence interval 1.06, 1.27), and placental abruption (odds ratio 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.51, 2.38) in the second pregnancy. Similarly, women with SGA and abruption in the first pregnancy were associated with increased risks of all other conditions in the second pregnancy.
Conclusion: Women with preeclampsia, SGA, and placental abruption in their first pregnancy--conditions that constitute ischemic placental disease--are at substantially increased risk of recurrence of any or all these conditions in their second pregnancy. Although causes of these conditions remain largely speculative, these entities may manifest through a common pathway of ischemic placental disease with significant risk of recurrence.