For pregnant soldiers, recent deployment linked to higher risk of premature delivery
March 1, 2018
Giving birth soon after military deployment is linked to greater risk of premature delivery, a Stanford study of U.S. servicewomen found, but deployment history itself does not raise prematurity risk.
Female soldiers who give birth within six months of returning from military deployment face twice the risk of having a preterm baby as other active-duty servicewomen, a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.
The study, which examined 12,877 births to American soldiers from 2011-14, published online March 1 in the American Journal of Epidemiology. In total, 6.1 percent of births studied were premature, meaning the baby was born three or more weeks early. But among women who had recently returned from deployment, 11.7 percent of deliveries were premature. Women giving birth soon after deployment were, on average, younger than other military mothers, and with lower education and lower pay, the study found.
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