PTSD a Risk Factor for Preterm Delivery


A new study indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a risk factor among pregnant women for premature birth.

"This study gives us a convincing epidemiological basis to say that, yes, PTSD is a risk factor for preterm delivery," said senior author Ciaran Phibbs, associate professor of pediatrics and an investigator at the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University. "Mothers with PTSD should be treated as having high-risk pregnancies."

Phibbs and colleagues looked at over 16,000 births from female U.S. military veterans between 2000 and 2012. They found that having PTSD in the year prior to delivery boosted the risk of spontaneous premature birth by 35 percent.

Spontaneous premature birth is defined as the mother going into labor and having her child at least three weeks prematurely. The findings have spurred Veterans Affairs to order that all VA medical centers treat all pregnancies among women with recent PTSD as high-risk.

Phibbs and colleagues reported their findings in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Source: CBS News


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