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    Abortion Linked To Later Preterm Births

    By Margarita Nahapetyan

    There is a link between abortion history and an increased risk of subsequent premature births and long-term complications, reports a new huge German study. Some previous studies have been pointing out to the connection, but the present research showed that abortion definitely plays a role in preterm birth risk.

    Dr. Manfred Voigt and a team of his colleagues looked at more than 2 million pregnancies between 1995 and 2000. Their study appears to be the most massive AVP (Abortion Very Preterm Birth) study in the past three decades. The scientists assigned all the women to four different groups: 1) the control group than included women with no history of abortion, miscarriage or stillbirths; 2) women who had history of abortions, but never had miscarriages or stillbirths; 3) women who had just miscarriages in their medical history; and 4) women with only stillbirths in their medical history.

    For their study, the researchers compared the rates of premature births in the control group with those in the other three groups, and found that in women who had one abortion before the planned pregnancy, the risk of delivering a baby at 34-34 weeks of pregnancy, was increased by 30 per cent. Those women who had more than one prior abortions had the VPB (Very Preterm Birth) risk increased by 90 per cent. In order to avoid the possibility of getting some false and inaccurate information concerning the women's abortion history, the investigators did not interview the women and based their findings just on data that was available in a perinatal database.

    The new German research joins previously found evidence that had pointed out to the increased risk of premature births for babies who are brought to term after a previous abortion. Brent Rooney, a scientist from Canada, who has published his own work on the abortion-premature birth link, said that black American women, who have the abortion done almost once out of every two kids, are three times more likely to deliver their next child prematurely, and four times more likely to give birth extremely prematurely.

    In spite of the fact that most pro-abortion organizations with all their efforts deny a strong risk of preterm birth abortion, the new study supports the findings of the research that was conducted in the past years. A study of South Australian first singleton births in the period between 1998 and 2003, published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine in January this year, also linked previous abortion with later preterm births. The researchers in that study found that two factors such as abortion and smoking, and in most cases among indigenous women, were preventable risk factors that led to premature birth.

    Another study that appeared in 2007 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that abortions increase the risk for the babies to be born with extremely low birth weight in the subsequent pregnancies, up to three times, and the risk to be born prematurely nearly twice.

    In general, children who are born preterm, are at higher risk for developing dangerous health-related conditions such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, visual impairment, hearing disability, gastrointestinal injury, problems in a respiratory tract, and many severe infections. A child who is born under 28 week's gestation, has nearly 130 times the risk of developing cerebral palsy, compared to a child who is born full-term, according to 2008 study by Dr. Eveline Himpens.

    The new study is published in the German medical magazine Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol.

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