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OBJECTIVE - To assess whether interpregnancy interval length after a pregnancy loss is associated with risk of repeat miscarriage.
METHODS - This analysis includes pregnant women participating in the Right From the Start (2000-2012) community-based prospective cohort study whose most recent pregnancy before enrollment ended in miscarriage. Interpregnancy interval was defined as the time between a prior miscarriage and the last menstrual period of the study pregnancy. Miscarriage was defined as pregnancy loss before 20 weeks of gestation. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate crude and adjusted hazard ratios and 95% CIs for the association between different interpregnancy interval lengths and miscarriage in the study pregnancy. Adjusted models included maternal age, race, parity, body mass index, and education.
RESULTS - Among the 514 study participants who reported miscarriage as their most recent pregnancy outcome, 15.7% had a repeat miscarriage in the study pregnancy (n=81). Median maternal age was 30 years (interquartile range 27-34) and 55.6% of participants had at least one previous livebirth (n=286). When compared with women with interpregnancy intervals of 6-18 months (n=136), women with intervals of less than 3 months (n=124) had the lowest risk of repeat miscarriage (7.3% compared with 22.1%; adjusted hazard ratio 0.33, 95% CI 0.16-0.71). Neither maternal race nor parity modified the association. Attempting to conceive immediately was not associated with increased risk of miscarriage in the next pregnancy.
CONCLUSION - An interpregnancy interval after pregnancy loss of less than 3 months is associated with the lowest risk of subsequent miscarriage. This implies counseling women to delay conception to reduce risk of miscarriage may not be warranted.
Evidence suggests European American (EA) women have two- to five-fold increased odds of having pelvic organ prolapse (POP) when compared with African American (AA) women. However, the role of genetic ancestry in relation to POP risk is not clear. Here we evaluate the association between genetic ancestry and POP in AA women from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy trial. Women with grade 1 or higher classification, and grade 2 or higher classification for uterine prolapse, cystocele or rectocele at baseline or during follow-up were considered to have any POP (N = 805) and moderate/severe POP (N = 156), respectively. Women with at least two pelvic exams with no indication for POP served as controls (N = 344). We performed case-only, and case-control admixture-mapping analyses using multiple logistic regression while adjusting for age, BMI, parity and global ancestry. We evaluated the association between global ancestry and POP using multiple logistic regression. European ancestry at the individual level was not associated with POP risk. Case-only and case-control local ancestry analyses identified two ancestry-specific loci that may be associated with POP. One locus (Chromosome 15q26.2) achieved empirically-estimated statistical significance and was associated with decreased POP odds (considering grade ≥2 POP) with each unit increase in European ancestry (OR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.30, 0.57; p-value = 1.48x10-5). This region includes RGMA, a potent regulator of the BMP family of genes. The second locus (Chromosome 1q42.1-q42.3) was associated with increased POP odds with each unit increase in European ancestry (Odds ratio [OR]: 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.28, 2.22; p-value = 1.93x10-4). Although this region did not reach statistical significance after considering multiple comparisons, it includes potentially relevant genes including TBCE, and ACTA1. Unique non-overlapping European and African ancestry-specific susceptibility loci may be associated with increased POP risk.
Binocular rivalry and stimulus rivalry are two forms of perceptual instability that arise when the visual system is confronted with conflicting stimulus information. In the case of binocular rivalry, dissimilar monocular stimuli are presented to the two eyes for an extended period of time, whereas for stimulus rivalry the dissimilar monocular stimuli are exchanged rapidly and repetitively between the eyes during extended viewing. With both forms of rivalry, one experiences extended durations of exclusive perceptual dominance that fluctuate between the two stimuli. Whether these two forms of rivalry arise within different stages of visual processing has remained debatable. Using an individual-differences approach, we found that both stimulus rivalry and binocular rivalry exhibited same-shaped distributions of dominance durations among a sample of 30 observers and, moreover, that the dominance durations measured during binocular and stimulus rivalry were significantly correlated among our sample of observers. Furthermore, we found a significant, positive correlation between alternation rate in binocular rivalry and the incidence of stimulus rivalry. These results suggest that the two forms of rivalry may be tapping common neural mechanisms, or at least different mechanisms with comparable time constants. It remains to be learned just why the incidences of binocular rivalry and stimulus rivalry vary so greatly among people.
This essay critically examines the extent to which binocular rivalry can provide important clues about the neural correlates of conscious visual perception. Our ideas are presented within the framework of four questions about the use of rivalry for this purpose: (i) what constitutes an adequate comparison condition for gauging rivalry's impact on awareness, (ii) how can one distinguish abolished awareness from inattention, (iii) when one obtains unequivocal evidence for a causal link between a fluctuating measure of neural activity and fluctuating perceptual states during rivalry, will it generalize to other stimulus conditions and perceptual phenomena and (iv) does such evidence necessarily indicate that this neural activity constitutes a neural correlate of consciousness? While arriving at sceptical answers to these four questions, the essay nonetheless offers some ideas about how a more nuanced utilization of binocular rivalry may still provide fundamental insights about neural dynamics, and glimpses of at least some of the ingredients comprising neural correlates of consciousness, including those involved in perceptual decision-making.
STUDY OBJECTIVE - To describe sleep duration and quality in the first month postpartum and compare the sleep of women who exclusively breastfed at night to those who used formula.
METHODS - We conducted a longitudinal study in a predominantly low-income and ethnically diverse sample of 120 first-time mothers. Both objective and subjective measures of sleep were obtained using actigraphy, diary, and self-report data. Measures were collected in the last month of pregnancy and at one month postpartum. Infant feeding diaries were used to group mothers by nighttime breastfeeding behavior.
RESULTS - Mothers who used at least some formula at night (n = 54) and those who breastfed exclusively (n = 66) had similar sleep patterns in late pregnancy. However, there was a significant group difference in nocturnal sleep at one month postpartum as measured by actigraphy. Total nighttime sleep was 386 ± 66 minutes for the exclusive breastfeeding group and 356 ± 67 minutes for the formula group. The groups did not differ with respect to daytime sleep, wake after sleep onset (sleep fragmentation), or subjective sleep disturbance at one month postpartum.
CONCLUSION - Women who breastfed exclusively averaged 30 minutes more nocturnal sleep than women who used formula at night, but measures of sleep fragmentation did not differ. New mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed exclusively since breastfeeding may promote sleep during postpartum recovery. Further research is needed to better understand how infant feeding method affects maternal sleep duration and fragmentation.
CITATION - Doan T; Gay CL; Kennedy HP; Newman J; Lee KA. Nighttime breastfeeding behavior is associated with more nocturnal sleep among first-time mothers at one month postpartum.
Epidemiological investigations of maternal and child health may involve the collection of biological specimens, including cord blood and the placenta; however, the attitudes of pregnant women towards participation in the collection of biological specimens have been studied rarely. We evaluated attitudes towards collection and storage of biological specimens, and determined whether attitudes differed by maternal characteristics, in a cross-sectional study of pregnant women residing in Kent County, Michigan. Women were interviewed at their first visit for prenatal care between April and October 2006 (n = 311). Willingness to participate was highest for maternal blood collection (72%), followed by storage of biological specimens (68%), placenta collection (64%), and cord blood collection (63%). About one-quarter of women (25-28% by procedure) would not participate even if compensated. Hispanic ethnicity was associated with unwillingness to participate in maternal blood collection (OR = 2.16 [95% CI 1.15, 4.04]). Primiparity was associated with unwillingness to participate in cord blood collection (OR = 1.72 [95% CI 1.23, 2.42]). Among women willing to participate, Hispanic women were less likely to require compensation; while higher educated, married and primiparous women were more likely to require compensation. In conclusion, while many pregnant women were willing to participate in biological specimen collection, some women were more resistant, in particular Hispanic and primiparous women. Targeting these groups of women for enhanced recruitment efforts may improve overall participation rates and the representativeness of participants in future studies of maternal and child health.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
In this paper, we asked to what extent the depth of interocular suppression engendered by continuous flash suppression (CFS) varies depending on spatiotemporal properties of the suppressed stimulus and CFS suppressor. An answer to this question could have implications for interpreting the results in which CFS influences the processing of different categories of stimuli to different extents. In a series of experiments, we measured the selectivity and depth of suppression (i.e., elevation in contrast detection thresholds) as a function of the visual features of the stimulus being suppressed and the stimulus evoking suppression, namely, the popular "Mondrian" CFS stimulus (N. Tsuchiya & C. Koch, 2005). First, we found that CFS differentially suppresses the spatial components of the suppressed stimulus: Observers' sensitivity for stimuli of relatively low spatial frequency or cardinally oriented features was more strongly impaired in comparison to high spatial frequency or obliquely oriented stimuli. Second, we discovered that this feature-selective bias primarily arises from the spatiotemporal structure of the CFS stimulus, particularly within information residing in the low spatial frequency range and within the smooth rather than abrupt luminance changes over time. These results imply that this CFS stimulus operates by selectively attenuating certain classes of low-level signals while leaving others to be potentially encoded during suppression. These findings underscore the importance of considering the contribution of low-level features in stimulus-driven effects that are reported under CFS.
Many groups have used Raman spectroscopy for diagnosing cervical dysplasia; however, there have been few studies looking at the effect of normal physiological variations on Raman spectra. We assess four patient variables that may affect normal Raman spectra: Race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), parity, and socioeconomic status. Raman spectra were acquired from a diverse population of 75 patients undergoing routine screening for cervical dysplasia. Classification of Raman spectra from patients with a normal cervix is performed using sparse multinomial logistic regression (SMLR) to determine if any of these variables has a significant effect. Results suggest that BMI and parity have the greatest impact, whereas race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status have a limited effect. Incorporating BMI and obstetric history into classification algorithms may increase sensitivity and specificity rates of disease classification using Raman spectroscopy. Studies are underway to assess the effect of these variables on disease.
BACKGROUND - Much of the epidemiologic research on risk factors for fibroids, the leading indication for hysterectomy, relies on self-reported outcome. Self-report is subject to misclassification because many women with fibroids are undiagnosed. The purpose of this analysis was to quantify the extent of misclassification and identify associated factors.
METHODS - Self-reported fibroid status was compared to ultrasound screening from 2046 women in Right From The Start (RFTS) and 869 women in the Uterine Fibroid Study (UFS). Log-binomial regression was used to estimate sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) and examine differences by ethnicity, age, education, body mass index, parity, and miscarriage history.
RESULTS - Overall sensitivity was ≤0.50. Sensitivity was higher in blacks than whites (RFTS: 0.34 vs. 0.23; UFS: 0.58 vs. 0.32) and increased with age. Parous women had higher sensitivity than nulliparae, especially in RFTS whites (Se ratio=2.90; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.51, 5.60). Specificity was 0.98 in RFTS and 0.86 in UFS. Modest ethnic differences were seen in UFS (Sp ratio, black vs. white=0.90; 95% CI: 0.81, 0.99). Parity was inversely associated with specificity, especially among UFS black women (Sp ratio=0.84; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.97). Among women who reported a previous diagnosis, a shorter time interval between diagnosis and ultrasound was associated with increased agreement between the two measures.
CONCLUSIONS - Misclassification of fibroid status can differ by factors of etiologic interest. These findings are useful for assessing (and correcting) bias in studies using self-reported clinical diagnosis as the outcome measure.
BACKGROUND - Late age at first full-term birth and nulliparity are known to increase breast cancer risk. The frequency of these risk factors has increased in recent decades.
METHODS - The purpose of this population-based case-control study was to examine associations between parity, age at first birth (AFB), and specific histological subtypes of breast cancer. Women with breast cancer were identified from cancer registries in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Control subjects were randomly selected from population lists. Interviews collected information on reproductive histories and other risk factors. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of ductal, lobular, and mixed ductal-lobular breast cancer diagnosis in association with AFB and nulliparity.
RESULTS - AFB ≥30 years was associated with a 2.4-fold increase in risk of lobular breast cancer compared with AFB <20 years (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.9-2.9). The association was less pronounced for ductal breast cancer (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.4). Nulliparity was associated with increased risk for all breast cancer subtypes, compared with women with AFB <20 years, but the association was stronger for lobular (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.2) than for ductal (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3) subtypes (P = .004). The adverse effects of later AFB was stronger with obesity (P = .03) in lobular, but not ductal, breast cancer.
CONCLUSIONS - Stronger associations observed for late AFB and nulliparity suggest that these factors preferentially stimulate growth of lobular breast carcinomas. Recent temporal changes in reproductive patterns and rates of obesity may impact the histological presentation of breast cancer.
Copyright © 2010 American Cancer Society.