Details of Publication 56 for Project A059:

Schofield M, Mishra G & Dobson A. Risk of multiple prior miscarriages among middle aged women who smoke. , 2000; : 241-243

We present retrospective self-reported data from the baseline survey of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health on the relationship between smoking and history of miscarriages among 14 200 women aged 45-49 at the time of the survey. The sampling frame was the database of the national health insurance system. Participants were randomly selected, with over-sampling from rural and remote areas, and are broadly representative of Australian women in this age group. Polychotomous logistic regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses that current smoking status and age at starting to smoke are associated with the number of miscarriages reported. There was a strong positive relationship between smoking status and the number of reported miscarriages. Ex-smokers were 1.25 times more likely to have had two or more miscarriages, light smokers (1-19 cigarettes per day) were 1.39 times more likely, and women who smoked 20 or more per day were 1.78 times more likely compared with women who had never smoked. An inverse relationship was also found between age at starting to smoke and a history of miscarriages. The findings provide strong evidence of a link between smoking and miscarriages and suggest that new initiatives are needed to prevent smoking among women of child-bearing age.