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Nearly 50% of pregnancies in India are High-risk |

Nearly 50% of pregnancies in India are High-risk

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∙ A study that analysed the data of nearly 24,000 pregnant women in India has found the prevalence of high-risk pregnancies to be high at 49.4%. 

Key Highlights of Data

∙ Methodology : The study used the nationally representative cross-sectional household survey data of the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2021).

∙ The researchers used the unit-level data from the Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) programme. 

∙ The proportion of multiple high risks was higher among women with no educational category (22.5%) compared with educated women.

∙ About 33% of pregnant women had a single high-risk factor, while 16% had multiple high-risk factors.

∙ High-risk factors: The study found that pregnant women from vulnerable populations such as poor women and those who had no education had the possibility of having one or more risk factors for pregnancy.

∙ The leading high-risk factors were: short-birth spacing (the time interval between the last birth to the time of current conception being less than 18 months), adverse birth outcomes such as miscarriage, abortion, or stillbirth, and finally women whose most recent delivery was a caesarean section. 

∙ The risk factors that were considered for the study were maternal risks, lifestyle risks, medical risks, current health risks, and previous birth outcome risks. 

∙ Statewise Data: Northeastern States of Meghalaya (67.8%), Manipur (66.7%) and Mizoram (62.5%) and the southern State of Telangana (60.3%) had the highest prevalence of high-risk factors in India, while Sikkim (33.3%), Odisha (37.3%) and Chhattisgarh (38.1%) had the lowest prevalence of high-risk pregnancies.

∙ Risk factor arising from adolescent pregnancies was highest in Tripura (10.3%), while advanced maternal age of over 35 years risk factor was most seen in Ladakh (14.3%), short stature (height below 140 cm) was highest in Puducherry (4.8%), and BMI over 30 was seen in Goa (17.4%). 

Suggestions 

∙ Policies and programmes and creating public awareness and education of women are needed to address the short interval between two successive pregnancies.

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