Document Type

Article

Department

Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)

Abstract

Stressful life events experienced by pregnant women may lead to adverse obstetric outcomes. This study in Benghazi compared the rates of preterm, low-birth-weight and caesarean-section births at Al-Jamhouria hospital in the months before and during the armed conflict in Libya in 2011. Data were collected on all women admitted to the delivery ward during February to May 2011 (the months of the most active fighting in the city) (n = 7096), and October to December 2010 (the months immediately before the war) (n = 5935). Compared with the preceding months there was a significant rise during the conflict in the rate of deliveries involving preterm (3.6% versus 2.5%) and low-birth-weight (10.1% versus 8.5%) infants and caesarean sections (26.9% versus 25.3%). Psychosocial stress may have been a factor (among others) in an increase in negative pregnancy outcomes, and obstetric hospitals should be aware of these issues in times of war.

Publication

Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal

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