OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature on obstetric factors at birth and their role as risk factors for a subsequent eating disorder (ED) and where possible to perform a meta-analysis of case-control studies of EDs and obstetric complications (OCs).
METHOD: Studies were ascertained by computer searches of electronic databases (Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science and CINAHL), searches of reference lists and from raw data obtained upon request from the authors. A total of 14 studies were identified for the systematic review, of which 6 were eligible for the subsequent meta-analysis. Of the selected 6 studies, 5 reported on the same OCs, namely vaginal instrumental delivery and prematurity. Accordingly, meta-analyses were run on these two variables. Both analyses were conducted on anorexia nervosa (AN) patients.
RESULTS: Findings from the systematic review were conflicting, with some studies reporting a significant relationship between OCs and ED diagnoses and/or ED symptomatology and others refuting it. A non-significant association of instrumental delivery [pooled odds ratio (OR) 1.06, 95%CI: 0.69, 1.65] and prematurity [pooled OR 1.17, 95%CI: 0.91, 1.52] with AN was revealed in our meta-analysis.
CONCLUSION: The current literature on OCs as risk factors for a later ED is contradictory. The range of different occurrences considered as OCs and methodological limitations hinder ultimate conclusions. Upcoming studies should pool datasets together to obtain sufficient power to assess OCs and EDs in combination.
Bibliographical noteCrown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Delivery, Obstetric
- Eating Disorders
- Obstetric Labor Complications
- Premature Birth
- Risk Factors