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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


AUDI, Celene Aparecida Ferrari; CORREA, Ana M. Segall; LATORRE, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira  and  SANTIAGO, Silvia M.. The association between domestic violence during pregnancy and low birth weight or prematurity. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.1, pp.60-67. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether domestic violence during pregnancy is associated with unfavorable infant health outcomes, measured by low birth weight or prematurity. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study enrolling pregnant women whose prenatal care was provided by 10 basic health units in the city of Campinas, SP, Brazil, between 2004 and 2006. A structured questionnaire was employed that had previously been validated for use in Brazil. Each mother attended a minimum of two and a maximum of three interviews during the prenatal and postnatal periods. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Student's t test was used to compare means for birth weight and gestational age between mothers who had suffered domestic violence during the current pregnancy and those who had not. Logistic regression analysis was employed to identify factors associated with low birth weight or prematurity. RESULTS: During the prenatal and postnatal periods, 89.1% (n = 1,229) of the pregnant women were followed up, 10.9% being lost to follow-up, basically due to changes of address. Mean birth weight was 3,233 g; mean gestational age was 38.56 weeks. A total of 13.8% of the infants had low birth weight or were premature. Conditions associated with risk of low birth weight or prematurity were: mothers who had previously given birth prematurely (p < 0.005), who smoked (p < 0.001), who delivered by caesarian (p < 0.001) and whose partners had a low educational level (p < 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: In this study, no statistically significant association was observed between domestic violence perpetrated by partners and low birth weight or prematurity.

Keywords : Cohort studies; low birth weight newborn infants; premature newborn infants; domestic violence and pregnancy.

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