Abortion and its effect on risk of preeclampsia and transient hypertension

Jennifer L. Eras, Audrey F. Saftlas, Elizabeth Triche, Chaur Dong Hsu, Harvey A. Risch, Michael B. Bracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We examined the effect of abortion type, number, and gestational age on the risk of preeclampsia and transient hypertension among women who received prenatal care from 13 obstetric practices in southern Connecticut between April 1988 and December 1991 (N = 2,739). Subjects were interviewed before 16 weeks' gestation regarding reproductive history and pregnancy-related risk factors. We estimated the risk of preeclampsia (N = 44) and transient hypertension (N = 172) among nulliparous women who had had one or more abortions, with nulliparous women with no abortion as the referent group. Similar effects were seen for one spontaneous or induced abortion, when analyzed separately. A single prior abortion was associated with a decreased risk of preeclampsia [odds ratio (OR) = 0.35; 95% exact confidence interval (CI) = 0.091.01]. One abortion had only a small association with risk of transient hypertension (OR = 1.09, 95% exact CI = 0.681.72); however, a history of two or more abortions was associated with a decreased risk (OR = 0.42, 95% exact CI = 0.16-0.94). Among nulliparous women with a history of one abortion, a decreased risk of both hypertensive disorders was observed among women whose aborted pregnancy ended al ≥3 months gestation. These findings suggest that a history of abortion in nulliparous women is a protective factor against the risk of preeclampsia in the subsequent pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Induced abortion
  • Parity
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Risk factors
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Transient hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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