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Underweight women at greater risk of miscarriage

esh fruit and vegetables daily or on most days was also found to halve the odds of miscarriage and, in a finding that will delight pregnant women everywhere, the consumption of chocolate was also found to be associated with lower risk.

There were a number of other interesting new findings. If a woman was not married or living with a partner, her risk of miscarriage was higher. If she had changed partner (for example, after having been pregnant before by a previous partner), her odds increased by 60%. If she had had a previous termination, the odds of subsequent miscarriage appeared to rise by more than 60%, while fertility problems were associated with 41% increased odds. All types of assisted reproduction were associated with increased odds, but the ratios were highest among pregnancies resulting from intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination.

Women who described their pregnancy as 'planned' had 40% reduced odds of miscarriage. But within this group, those who took more than a year to conceive were twice as likely to miscarry as those who had conceived within three months.

The authors found confirmation for the widely-held belief that morning sickness is an indicator that the pregnancy is progressing well. Women who suffered from nausea and sickness in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy were almost 70% less likely to miscarry, and the more severe the sickness, the better the odds of the pregnancy continuing.

Noreen Maconochie, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and lead author of the study, comments: 'An estimated one in five pregnancies in the UK will end in miscarriage2. It can be a very distressing experience for women, and any advice on how they can improve their chances of achieving a full-term pregnancy is likely to be welcome.

'Our study confirms the findings of previous studies which suggest that following a healthy die
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Source:London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


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