Recurrence risk of stillbirth in a second pregnancy

S. Bhattacharya*, Gordon James Prescott, Mairead Eileen Black, A. Shetty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the risk of recurrence of stillbirth in a second pregnancy.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Scotland, UK.

Population: All women who delivered their first and second pregnancies in Scotland between 1981 and 2005.

Methods: All women delivering for the first time between 1981 and 2000 were linked to records of their second pregnancy using routinely collected data from the Scottish Morbidity Returns. Women who had an intrauterine death in their first pregnancy formed the exposed cohort, whereas those who had a live birth formed the unexposed cohort.

Main outcome measure: Stillbirth in a second pregnancy.

Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, the odds of recurrence of stillbirth in a second pregnancy were found to be 1.94 (99% CI 1.29-2.92) compared with women who had had a live birth in their first pregnancy. Other factors associated with recurrence of stillbirth in a second pregnancy included placental abruption (adjusted OR 1.96; 99% CI 1.60-2.41), preterm delivery (adjusted OR 7.45; 99% CI 5.91-9.39) and low birthweight (adjusted OR 6.69; 99% CI 5.31-8.42). A Bayesian analysis using minimally informative normal priors found the risk of recurrence of stillbirth in a second pregnancy to be 1.59 (99% CI 1.10-2.33).

Conclusions: Women who have stillbirth in their first pregnancy have a higher risk of recurrence in their next pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1247
Number of pages5
JournalBJOG-An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number10
Early online date24 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • Intrauterine death
  • recurrence
  • stillbirth
  • prior fetal-death
  • subsequent pregnancies
  • cohort
  • women


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