Maternal history of childhood sexual abuse and preterm birth: an epidemiologic review
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CitationWosu, Adaeze C., Bizu Gelaye, and Michelle A. Williams. 2015. “Maternal history of childhood sexual abuse and preterm birth: an epidemiologic review.” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 15 (1): 174. doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0606-0. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-015-0606-0.
AbstractBackground: History of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is highly prevalent with as many as one in four American women being victims. Exposure to CSA or other early life traumatic experiences has been associated with adverse reproductive and pregnancy outcomes. However, the effects of CSA on preterm delivery (PTB), a leading cause of neonatal mortality, remain poorly understood. The objectives of this review are (i) to synthesize the available research investigating the relationship between maternal history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and preterm delivery (PTB); (ii) to provide suggestions for improving future research on this topic; and (iii) to highlight implications for clinical practice and public health. Methods: Relevant articles were identified through searches of four electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science Core Collection and BIOSIS Online) for studies published before March 2014, as well as through reviewing references of published articles. Results: A total of six studies published from 1992 to 2010 were included in this review. Overall, findings were inconsistent. Three studies reported statistically significant associations of CSA with PTB (<37 weeks gestation) or shorter mean gestational age at birth. Women with a history of CSA had 2.6 to 4.8-fold increased odds of PTB as compared with women without a history of CSA. Three other studies did not observe statistically significant differences in rates of PTB or mean gestational age at birth in relation to a history of CSA. Conclusions: Available evidence on this topic is sparse and inconsistent, and limited by a number of methodological challenges. Given the ubiquity of CSA, as well as the clinical and public health significance of PTB, more rigorously designed epidemiologic studies on the association between CSA and PTB are warranted. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0606-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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