INTRODUCTION: Miscarriage, a spontaneous pregnancy loss at <24 weeks' gestation, is a common complication of pregnancy but the etiologies of miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage are not fully understood. Other obstetric conditions such as preeclampsia and preterm birth, which may share similar pathophysiology to miscarriage, exhibit familial patterns, suggesting inherited predisposition to these conditions. Parental genetic polymorphisms have been associated with unexplained miscarriage, suggesting there could be a genetically inherited predisposition to miscarriage. This systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies aimed to assess the association between family history of miscarriage and the risk of miscarriage in women.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies was carried out in accordance with Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) guidelines. Electronic searches using databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL) were carried out to identify eligible studies from 1946 until 2019. Observational studies (cohort or case-control) were included. Human studies only were included. Participants were women of reproductive age. Exposure was a family history of one or more miscarriage(s). The primary outcome was miscarriage in women. Abstracts were screened and data were extracted by two independent reviewers. Study quality was assessed using Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) tools. Data were pooled from individual studies using the Mantel-Haenszel method to produce pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Systematic review registration number (PROSPERO): CRD42019127950.
RESULTS: Thirteen studies were identified in the systematic review; 10 were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. Twelve studies reported an association between family history of miscarriage and miscarriage in women. In all, 41 287 women were included in the meta-analysis. Women who miscarried were more likely to report a family history of miscarriage (pooled unadjusted OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.37-2.63). Overall study quality and size varied, with few adjusting for confounding factors. Results should be interpreted with caution as the associations presented are based on unadjusted analyses only.
CONCLUSIONS: Women who miscarry may be more likely to have a family history of miscarriage. Further research is required to confirm or refute the findings.
- family history
- recurrent miscarriage
- GENETIC ASSOCIATION
- RECURRENT SPONTANEOUS-ABORTION
- 2ND PREGNANCY