BioScience Trends. 2012;6(3):115-121. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2012.v6.3.115)
A lifetime experience of violence and adverse reproductive outcomes: Findings from population surveys in India.
Yoshikawa K, Agrawal NR, Poudel KC, Jimba M
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health issue that threatens the reproductive health of women. Despite a growing demand for research on the potential threat of IPV in relation to adverse reproductive outcomes, there have been no population-based studies of India. The current study analyzed the National Family Health Survey 3, which contained detailed information on types of violence in relation to the single question of pregnancy outcomes. The dataset was used to assess the association between a lifetime experience of IPV and terminated pregnancies among married Indian women. Multiple logistic regression analysis was then used to assess the association between these variables, controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. Results showed that 39.6% of Indian women have experienced violence by their husbands, while 18.3% of women have terminated a pregnancy during their lifetimes. The odds ratio of a terminated pregnancy among women who had experienced any type of partner violence was 1.62 (95% CI (confidence interval) = 1.51-1.73). All combinations of violence except a combination of emotional and sexual violence were associated with an increased risk of a terminated pregnancy. These results suggest that prevention of IPV would reduce the high incidence of terminated pregnancies, thus improving maternal health in India.