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Spousal violence and potentially preventable single and recurrent spontaneous fetal loss in an African setting: cross-sectional study
Authors: Alio, A.P.; Nana, P.N.; Salihu, H.M.
Source: Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9660, Pages 318 - 324, 24 January 2009 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60096-9
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Reproductive health
Country: Africa
   Multiple African Countries
Published: JAN 2009
Abstract: Spousal violence is a global issue, with ramifications for the reproductive health of women. We aimed to investigate the effect of physical, sexual, and emotional violence on potentially preventable single and recurrent spontaneous fetal loss. We analysed data from the Cameroon Demographic Health Survey. In the violence module of this survey, women were questioned about their experience of physical, emotional, and sexual violence inflicted by their spouses. Respondents were also asked about any stillbirths and spontaneous abortions. We measured risk for single and recurrent fetal loss with odds ratios, with adjustment for intracluster correlations as appropriate. We also estimated the proportion of preventable excess fetal loss at various levels of violence reduction. 2562 women responded to the violence module. If the prevalence of spousal abuse could be reduced to 50%, 25%, or entirely eliminated, preventable excess recurrent fetal demise would be 17%, 25%, and 33%, respectively. Our fi ndings support the idea of routine prenatal screening for spousal violence in the African setting, a region with the highest rate of fetal death in the world…