OBJECTIVE: Placental disease is a leading cause of stillbirth. Our purpose was to characterize stillbirths associated with placental disease.
STUDY DESIGN: The Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network conducted a prospective, case-control study of stillbirths and live births from 2006 to 2008. This analysis includes 512 stillbirths with cause of death assignment and a comparison group of live births. We compared exposures between women with stillbirth due to placental disease and those due to other causes as well as between women with term (≥ 37 weeks) stillbirth due to placental disease and term live births.
RESULTS: A total of 121 (23.6%) out of 512 stillbirths had a probable or possible cause of death due to placental disease by Initial Causes of Fetal Death. Characteristics were similar between stillbirths due to placental disease and other stillbirths. When comparing term live births to stillbirths due to placental disease, women with non-Hispanic black race, Hispanic ethnicity, lack of insurance, or who were born outside of the United States had higher odds of stillbirth due to placental disease. Nulliparity and antenatal bleeding also increased risk of stillbirth due to placental disease.
CONCLUSION: Multiple discrete exposures were associated with stillbirth caused by placental disease. The relationship between these factors and utility of surveillance warrants further study.