Published Papers - Abstract 116

Hussain R, Schofield M & Lee C. Impact of miscarriages and abortions on well-being at mid-life: Data from the Women's Health Australia Study. Health Psychology, ; :

We examine the relationships between women’s history of miscarriages and abortions, and their midlife physical and mental health, controlling demographic, psychosocial and health factors. The study sample comprised 14,100 women aged 45-50 years who participated in Survey 1 of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. The main outcome variables were physical and mental health (SF-36) and perceived stress. Women who responded to questions about miscarriages (83.6%) and abortions (78.6%) were included in the analyses. Overall, 36% of women reported at least one miscarriage and 22% at least one abortion. Multivariate analyses showed that, after controlling for sociodemographic variables, number of live births, number of children living at home, social support, life events, menopause status and HRT use, the effects of prior miscarriages and abortions on health outcomes were small. Having one miscarriage contributed to poorer physical health and greater stress at midlife; and poor mental health was associated with three or more miscarriages. Having three or more abortions was significantly related to midlife mental health, and having had any abortion to midlife stress.