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Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Following the Assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Following the Assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 IntroductionWomen exposed to stressful events during pregnancy are thought to be at increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. However, studies investigating stressful events are often unable to control for important confounders, such as behavioral and genetic characteristics, or to isolate the impact of the stressor from other secondary effects. We used a discordant-sibling design, which provides stronger inferences about causality, to examine whether a widespread stressor with limited impact on day-to-day life (John F. Kennedy assassination) resulted in an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.MethodsData were obtained from the Collaborative Perinatal Project, a prospective, multi-site cohort study conducted in the US from 1959 to 1965. Our analysis was restricted to singleton live births ≥24 weeks born before the assassination (n = 24,406) or in utero at the time (n = 5833). We also evaluated associations within siblings discordant for exposure (n = 1144). We used survival analysis to evaluate associations between exposure and preterm birth and marginal models to evaluate associations with birthweight and placental pathology.ResultsFirst trimester exposure was associated with preterm birth (hazard ratio (HR): 1.17; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.31). In the discordant-sibling model, the point estimate was similar (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 0.36, 4.06). Third trimester exposure was associated with increased odds of fetal acute inflammation in the placenta (odds ratio (OR): 1.34, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.71).Conclusions for PracticeFirst trimester exposure to an acute stressor was associated with preterm birth. We did not observe increased odds of placental pathology with first trimester exposure; however, stress may increase preterm birth risk through chronic placental inflammation, which was not evaluated in this sample. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Maternal and Child Health Journal Springer Journals

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Following the Assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2021
ISSN
1092-7875
eISSN
1573-6628
DOI
10.1007/s10995-021-03139-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

IntroductionWomen exposed to stressful events during pregnancy are thought to be at increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. However, studies investigating stressful events are often unable to control for important confounders, such as behavioral and genetic characteristics, or to isolate the impact of the stressor from other secondary effects. We used a discordant-sibling design, which provides stronger inferences about causality, to examine whether a widespread stressor with limited impact on day-to-day life (John F. Kennedy assassination) resulted in an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.MethodsData were obtained from the Collaborative Perinatal Project, a prospective, multi-site cohort study conducted in the US from 1959 to 1965. Our analysis was restricted to singleton live births ≥24 weeks born before the assassination (n = 24,406) or in utero at the time (n = 5833). We also evaluated associations within siblings discordant for exposure (n = 1144). We used survival analysis to evaluate associations between exposure and preterm birth and marginal models to evaluate associations with birthweight and placental pathology.ResultsFirst trimester exposure was associated with preterm birth (hazard ratio (HR): 1.17; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.31). In the discordant-sibling model, the point estimate was similar (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 0.36, 4.06). Third trimester exposure was associated with increased odds of fetal acute inflammation in the placenta (odds ratio (OR): 1.34, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.71).Conclusions for PracticeFirst trimester exposure to an acute stressor was associated with preterm birth. We did not observe increased odds of placental pathology with first trimester exposure; however, stress may increase preterm birth risk through chronic placental inflammation, which was not evaluated in this sample.

Journal

Maternal and Child Health JournalSpringer Journals

Published: May 21, 2021

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