Quarter of miscarriages may be preventable, research says

A quarter of miscarriages may be preventable, research suggests. Being underweight or obese before conception, working nights, drinking alcohol in pregnancy and lifting heavy loads could all increase the risk, experts said.

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Study looked at 90,000 pregnancies from 1996 to 2002

The team behind the study, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, used data from 91,427 Danish pregnancies between 1996 and 2002.

They regarded miscarriage as before 22 weeks of pregnancy and found that 3,177 of the total sample of pregnancies resulted in miscarriage.

Women were asked during a telephone interview to discuss their habits leading up to conception and during pregnancy.The women were typically interviewed around 16 weeks into their pregnancy. hose who had already suffered a miscarriage were asked about their habits leading up to the miscarriage.

The study found that age, drinking alcohol, lifting more than 20kg a day, night shifts and being obese or overweight all contributed to miscarriage.A mother's age and alcohol consumption were the most important risk factors.

Quarter of miscarriages may be preventable - research

A quarter of miscarriages may be preventable, research suggests.

Being underweight or obese before conception, working nights, drinking alcohol in pregnancy and lifting heavy loads could all increase the risk, experts said.

Quarter of miscarriages may be preventable, research says Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

They said if women cut these risks to very low levels, 25% of miscarriages could be prevented. The large study of more than 91,000 pregnancies also confirmed that one of the biggest factors influencing miscarriage is the mother's age, with women over 30 having a higher chance of miscarrying.

However, other researchers warned the study did not show miscarriage was "caused" by any of the factors and pointed to other limitations.

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