Newborns of women with disabilities are at higher risk for birth complications: Study

Published On 2022-08-09 04:30 GMT   |   Update On 2022-08-09 10:08 GMT

Canada: Newborns of women with disabilities are at mild to moderate elevated risk of several birth complications, a recent study in the journal Pediatrics has reported. These women may require adapted and enhanced prenatal and preconception care, and their newborns may need extra support after birth. Previous studies have suggested that offspring of women with disabilities are at...

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Canada: Newborns of women with disabilities are at mild to moderate elevated risk of several birth complications, a recent study in the journal Pediatrics has reported. These women may require adapted and enhanced prenatal and preconception care, and their newborns may need extra support after birth. 

Previous studies have suggested that offspring of women with disabilities are at increased risk for low birth weight and preterm birth. The factors explaining the relation were not accounted for there, also, neonatal morbidity and mortality were not assessed. Considering this, Hilary K. Brown, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues aimed to assess the risk of neonatal complications among women with a disability in a population-based cohort study.

The study consisted of all hospital singleton livebirths in Ontario, Canada from 2003 to 2018. Comparisons were made between newborns of women with physical (N = 144 187), sensory (N = 44 988), intellectual or developmental (N = 2207), or ≥2 disabilities (N = 8823) with 1 593 354 newborns of women without a disability. 

Outcomes included preterm birth <37 and <34 weeks, neonatal morbidity, and mortality, small for gestational age birth weight (SGA), large for gestational age birth weight, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and NICU admission. Relative risks were adjusted for social, health, and health care characteristics. 

Key findings include:

  • Risks for neonatal complications were elevated among newborns of women with disabilities compared with those without disabilities.
  • Adjusted relative risks were especially high for newborns of women with an intellectual or developmental disability, including preterm birth <37 weeks (1.37), SGA (1.37), neonatal morbidity (1.42), NAS (1.53), and NICU admission (1.53).
  • The same was seen for newborns of women with ≥2 disabilities, including preterm birth <37 weeks (1.48), SGA (1.13), neonatal morbidity (1.28), NAS (1.87), and NICU admission (1.35).

To conclude, there is a mild to moderate elevated risk for complications among newborns of women with disabilities.

"These women may need adapting and enhanced preconception and prenatal care, and their newborns may require extra support after birth," the researchers suggest. 

Reference:

Hilary K. Brown et al, Neonatal Outcomes of Mothers With a Disability, Pediatrics (2022). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2021-055318

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Article Source : Pediatrics journal

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