PP39 Mental health outcomes of abortion for young women aged 18-23 years, findings from an Australian longitudinal birth cohort study

Dingle, Kaeleen D., Clavarino, Alexandra, Williams, Gail, & Alati, Rosa (2007) PP39 Mental health outcomes of abortion for young women aged 18-23 years, findings from an Australian longitudinal birth cohort study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 41(s2), A369.

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Abstract

Background: Few longitudinal studies have examined the mental health outcomes of women after abortion and the results are controversial. Despite falling birth rates, teenage pregnancies remain high and over half (53%) of teenage and a third (36%) of young adult (20_24 years) pregnancies are aborted. Recent findings from a NewZealand longitudinal birth cohort linked abortion and subsequent psychiatric disorders in young women. Limited Australian data is available examining this association.

Methods: Data were taken from the Mater-University Study of Pregnancy (MUSP). Running since 1981, this is a prospective birth cohort study of 7223 mothers and children. At the 21-year follow-up 3775 (52.3% of the original cohort) participants were surveyed, of these 1132 young women had complete data on pregnancy outcomes and psychiatric diagnoses from a structured interview. Binary logistic regression examined the association between five lifetime psychiatric disorders (nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, affective and anxiety disorders) and ever having an abortion or birth. Analyses adjusted for age, concurrent and maternal sociodemographic factors, and factors related to adolescent behaviour, previous mental health and family functioning.

Results: A quarter of the young women (n_261) reported at least one pregnancy and 32.6% had an abortion. Abortion was significantly associated with age-adjusted OR for all the lifetime disorders. After full adjustment abortion remained significantly associated with nicotine (OR_2.1, 1.2_3.6) and alcohol disorders (OR_2.0, 1.3_3.3).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that abortion in young women is independently associated with an increased risk of nicotine and alcohol disorders.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 61646
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/00048670701724654
ISSN: 1440-1614
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 01 Aug 2013 23:40
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 00:07

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