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Impact of Environmental Factors and Poverty on Pregnancy Outcomes

WECK, REBEKAH L. BS; PAULOSE, TESSIE MS; FLAWS, JODI A. PhD

Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2008 - Volume 51 - Issue 2 - p 349-359
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31816f276e
Societal Factors in Pregnancy: Why Worry?

Studies have indicated that various societal factors such as toxicant exposure, maternal habits, occupational hazards, psychosocial factors, socioeconomic status, racial disparity, chronic stress, and infection may impact pregnancy outcomes. These outcomes include spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, alterations in the development of the fetus, and long-term health of offspring. Although much is known about individual pregnancy outcomes, little is known about the associations between societal factors and pregnancy outcomes. This manuscript reviews some of the literature available on the effects of the above-mentioned societal factors on pregnancy outcomes and examines some potential remedies for preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes in the future.

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Funding by NIH R01 ES012893 and the Interdisciplinary Environmental Toxicology Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Correspondence: Jodi A. Flaws, PhD, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2001 S. Lincoln Avenue 3223 VMBSB, Urbana, IL. E-mail: jflaws@uiuc.edu.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.