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Summary: Induced Abortion a Factor in Preterm Birth

A prior first trimester induced abortion has been found to be an irreversible risk factor associated with preterm birth.

  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a book, “Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention,” detailing the most up-to-date information available about preterm births. In 2004, 12.5% of births in the United States were preterm (born at less than 37 completed weeks of gestation). Infants born preterm are at greater risk than infants born at term for mortality and various health and developmental problems. The IOM lists irreversible medical risk factors associated with preterm birth, and “prior first trimester induced abortion” is listed third among other risk factors that increase the risk of having a subsequent preterm birth.

1Immutable Medical Risk Factors Associated with Preterm Birth. Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention. Institute of Medicine, 2007, pp. 625.

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