Published Papers - Abstract 350

Rowlands I & Lee C. Correlates of miscarriage among young women in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 2009; 27(1): 40-53

While evidence suggests that miscarrying women experience poor mental health, the research is limited and comparison groups are frequently unrepresentative or lacking altogether. The current study examined the health and wellbeing of miscarrying women in relation to their peers by comparing them on selected relevant sociodemographic, gynaecological, psychological and health behaviour variables. Survey 3 of the Younger cohort of the nationally representative Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health was used to identify 998 women aged 24-31 who reported ever having had a miscarriage, and 8083 women who reported never having had a miscarriage. Although univariate analyses indicated that women who had had miscarriages experienced poorer mental health, multivariate analysis indicated that these effects were explained by sociodemographic and lifestyle differences. Stepwise logistic regression showed that miscarrying women were more likely to be married, to have had a child, to be current or ex smokers and to be not using contraception, to have lower levels of education; and to be of low socio-economic status. These results indicate that the strongest correlates of miscarriage among young women are those associated with preparing for, or experiencing, motherhood, and it may be that these factors rather than the miscarriage itself explain any excess of mental health problems in this population.