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Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy increased prematurity risk by 60 percent - meta-analysis 1999

Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy and the risk of prematurity: a meta-analysis.

J Fam Pract. 1999 Nov;48(11):885-92.
Flynn CA1, Helwig AL, Meurer LN.
Center for Evidence Based Practice, Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Health Science Center at Syracuse, USA. flynnc at mailbox.hscsyr.edu


Healthy pregnancies need lots of vitamin D has the following summary

Vit. D
0. Chance of not conceiving3.4 times Observe
1. Miscarriage 2.5 times Observe
2. Pre-eclampsia 3.6 timesRCT
3. Gestational Diabetes 3 times RCT
4. Good 2nd trimester sleep quality 3.5 times Observe
5. Premature birth 2 times RCT
6. C-section - unplanned 1.6 timesObserve
     Stillbirth - OMEGA-3 4 timesRCT - Omega-3
7. Depression AFTER pregnancy 1.4 times RCT
8. Small for Gestational Age 1.6 times meta-analysis
9. Infant height, weight, head size
     within normal limits
10. Childhood Wheezing 1.3 times RCT
11. Additional child is Autistic 4 times Intervention
12.Young adult Multiple Sclerosis 1.9 timesObserve
13. Preeclampsia in young adult 3.5 timesRCT
14. Good motor skills @ age 31.4 times Observe
15. Childhood Mite allergy 5 times RCT
16. Childhood Respiratory Tract visits 2.5 times RCT

RCT = Randomized Controlled Trial

We conducted this meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of risk conferred by bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy on preterm delivery.

We selected articles from a combination of the results of a MEDLINE search (1966-1996), a manual search of bibliographies, and contact with leading researchers.

We included case control and cohort studies evaluating the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, preterm premature rupture of membranes, or preterm labor for pregnant women who had bacterial vaginosis and those who did not.

Two investigators independently conducted literature searches, applied inclusion criteria, performed data extraction, and critically appraised included studies. Summary estimates of risk were calculated as odds ratios (ORs) using the fixed and random effects models.

We included 19 studies in the final analysis. Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy was associated with a statistically significant increased risk for all outcomes evaluated. In the subanalyses for preterm delivery, bacterial vaginosis remained a significant risk factor. Pooling adjusted ORs yielded a 60% increased risk of preterm delivery given the presence of bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis is an important risk factor for prematurity and pregnancy morbidity. Further studies will help clarify the benefits of treating bacterial vaginosis and the potential role of screening during pregnancy.

Comment in
To screen or not to screen? Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy. J Fam Pract. 1999
PMID: 10907626

Free full text – not PDF – is online

  • “Between 25% and 60% of preterm births are thought to be attributable to maternal infections,4,5 and are thus considered preventable.”
  • “BV is fairly common, with a prevalence ranging from 10% to 30% in an typical obstetrical population 6 to more than 50% in some high-risk groups”

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