The Impact of Prior Abortion on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms during a Subsequent Pregnancy:
Data from a population-based cohort Study in China

Huang, Z., Hao, J., Su, P. et al
Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 21, 2012

Huang and colleagues, affiliated with the Anhui Medical College in China, published a sophisticated large scale study
in the Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology entitled “The Impact of Prior Abortion on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
during a Subsequent Pregnancy: Data From a Population-Based Cohort Study.” Data were derived from the Anhui Birth
Defects and Child Development Cohort Study and the sample consisted of 6,887 women, 3,264 (47.6%) of whom had
experienced at least one abortion.
 
Results indicated that women with a history of induced abortion a year or more prior, were 49% more likely to experience
depression and 114% more likely to experience anxiety in the 1st trimester of a subsequent pregnancy, when compared
to women who had not experienced an induced abortion. These results were obtained after controlling for maternal education,
income, place of residence, and BMI scores.
 
When a prior abortion had occurred within the past year, women experienced a 97% increased risk for experiencing anxiety
during the 1st trimester after the above controls were instituted. Further, when assessed during the 2nd trimester, a prior
induced abortion occurring less than a year earlier was related to a 64% greater risk of depression after instituting controls.
 
Finally, the results revealed that women with a history of spontaneous abortion were not at a greater risk for anxiety or
depression in the 1st or 2nd trimester of a subsequent pregnancy, when compared to women without a history of spontaneous
abortion. These results were obtained when the prior loss occurred within one year and when it occurred over a year before the
current pregnancy