new research suggests.
The outcomes of a prospective cohort study involving 737 women who had experienced miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy and 171 controls with healthy pregnancies were presented in a report in the.
One month after their pregnancy loss, 29% of these women met the criteria for posttraumatic stress, 24% reported moderate to severe anxiety, and 11% reported moderate to severe depression. In comparison, just 13% of women in the control group met the criteria for anxiety, and 2% met the criteria for depression, which meant women who had experienced early pregnancy loss had a greater than twofold odds of anxiety and nearly fourfold (odds ratio, 3.88) greater odds of depression, reported Jessica Farren, PhD, of the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, London, and coauthors.
The most common posttraumatic symptom, experienced by 91% of respondents with posttraumatic stress at 1 month after the pregnancy, was reexperiencing symptoms, while 60% experienced avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms. At 3 months after the loss, 50% of those with posttraumatic stress reported an interruption of their general satisfaction with life.
While the incidence of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depression decreased over time in the women who had early pregnancy loss, by the third month 21% still met the criteria for posttraumatic stress, and by 9 months, 18% still were experiencing posttraumatic stress. Similarly, moderate to severe anxiety was still present in 23% of women at 3 months and 17% at 9 months, and moderate to severe depression was still experienced by 8% of women at 3 months and 6% of women at 9 months.
Dr. Farren and coauthors wrote that, given the incidence of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy in the population, the high proportion of women still experiencing posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depression at 9 months pointed to a significant public health issue. “It is recognized that PTSD in other contexts can have a significant impact on work, social interaction, health care utilization, and risks in future pregnancies,” they wrote. “Work is needed to evaluate strategies to effectively identify and treat affected women with these specific psychopathologies.”
The investigators also looked at the differences in outcomes in women who experienced miscarriage, compared with those who experienced ectopic pregnancy.
Of the 363 women who had a miscarriage, 30% met criteria for posttraumatic stress at 1 month, 20% at 3 months, and 17% at 9 months. Moderate to severe anxiety was reported by 25% women at 1 month, 22% at 3 months, and 17% at 9 months. Moderate to severe depression was reported by 12% at 1 month, 7% at 3 months, and 5% at 9 months.
Of the 74 women who had an ectopic pregnancy, 23% met criteria for posttraumatic stress at 1 month, 28% at 3 months, and 21% at 9 months. Moderate to severe anxiety was reported by 21% at 1 month, 30% at 3 months, and 23% at 9 months. Moderate to severe depression was reported by 7% at 1 month, 12% at 3 months, and 11% at 9 months.
The authors noted that the incidence of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depression decreased more strongly over time in women who had experienced miscarriage, compared with those who experienced ectopic pregnancy, although they commented that the confidence intervals were wide.
One coauthor was supported by an Imperial Health Charity grant and another by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre. No conflicts of interest were declared.
SOURCE: Farren J et al. Amer J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Dec 13. .