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Abortions may cause premature birth in later pregnancies

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Terminations could cause a higher risk of giving birth to a premature or low-weight baby in later pregnancies, research published in an international obstetrics journal has claimed.

The review, which was based on 37 studies carried out between 1965 and 2001, found that women who had an abortion within six months of becoming pregnant were 35 per cent more likely to give birth to a low-weight baby and had a 36 per cent greater risk of going into labour prematurely. The risks were also found to increase with each termination.

The researchers stressed that the results were not conclusive, with Lead author Dr Prakesh Shah, from the department of paediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, saying: ‘Several biomedical, social, environmental, lifestyle-related, genetic and other factors contribute to pre-term and low birthweight births, and this needs to be kept in mind when interpreting our results.’

The study was published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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