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Original Contribution  |   May 1999
Domestic violence: Effect on pregnancy outcome
Article Information
Original Contribution   |   May 1999
Domestic violence: Effect on pregnancy outcome
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 1999, Vol. 99, 254-256. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1999.99.5.254
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 1999, Vol. 99, 254-256. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1999.99.5.254
Abstract

A predominantly white, suburban, indigent population of pregnancy women were followed up to determine the incidence of domestic violence and its effect on preterm delivery, low birth weight, and outcome of pregnancy (infant admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. A total of 489 gravidas were screened for domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse. Patients were assigned to the control group if they had no substance abuse and no domestic violence and to the study group if they had no substance abuse but were victims of domestic violence. Of the total study population, 20% were victims of domestic violence. Among patients suffering domestic violence, 22 % had preterm deliveries as compared with 9% of patients without domestic violence (P= .002). Sixteen percent of patients in the study group had low-birth-weight babies compared with 6% of women in the control group (P= .002). No significant relationship was found between domestic violence and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. Therefore, domestic violence is a risk factor for preterm delivery and low-birth-weight infants.