Women who have lost baby more exposed to depression, anxiety

December 19th, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 19 (IANS) Women who have had an abortion or miscarriage are more likely to face drug-alcohol problems and psychiatric disorders, according to a study. Doctoral candidate Kaeleen Dingle found that young women who lost a pregnancy were more susceptible to depression, anxiety, alcohol dependency and illicit substance abuse than women who had never been pregnant.

Dingle of Queensland University (QU) said her study expanded on recent evidence that suggested abortions were associated with later psychiatric disorders, by finding miscarriage held the same risks.

“Our findings suggest that this increased risk of psychiatric problems in some women after an abortion may be associated with pregnancy loss rather than caused by the experience of having an induced abortion,” she said.

“We found that young women having a miscarriage or an abortion were three times more likely to experience a drug or alcohol problem during their lifetime,” she said.

Dingle said the study had implications for caregivers, who may need to give more counselling and support to women who have lost a pregnancy, said a QU release.

Her research uses data from a long running Brisbane-based birth cohort study, which started in 1981 and followed a group of mothers and their children over 21 years.

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