OBJECTIVE: To examine birth outcomes and pregnancy complications in women with a history of anorexia nervosa. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Nationwide study in Sweden. POPULATION: All primiparous women--discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa during 1973 to 1996--who gave birth during 1983 to 2002 (n = 1000) were compared with all non-anorexia nervosa primiparous women who gave birth during the same years (n = 827,582). METHOD: Register study with data from Medical Birth Registry and National Patient Discharge Register. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pre-eclampsia, instrumental delivery, prematurity, small for gestational age, birthweight, Apgar score and perinatal mortality. RESULTS: Main birth outcome measures in women with a history of anorexia nervosa were very similar to the main population. The only observed differences were a slightly lower mean birthweight and lower adjusted odds ratios for instrumental delivery in the anorexia nervosa group compared with the main population. Neither severity of the disease nor a shorter recovery phase after first hospitalisation was related to pregnancy complications or birth outcomes. CONCLUSION: A history of anorexia nervosa was not associated with negative birth outcomes. Thus, special obstetric monitoring of pregnant women with history of anorexia nervosa does not seem to be warranted in a country with a satisfactory maternity surveillance.
AIM: To develop a new stress scale and use it for investigating impact of ethnicity on perception of stress. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One thousand one hundred and twenty-four students (grades 6-9) from 14 schools filled in a questionnaire at school with questions about age, sex, use of language at home (proxy for cultural background), stress and stressors. Factor analysis and analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: Two-stress dimensions were identified, 'pressure'(7 items, Cronbach's alpha 0.862) and 'activation'(4 items, Cronbach's alpha 0.767). Scores on the two scales and a separate 'stress' item were higher in girls and increased with grade. Use of another language than Swedish at home showed a significant effect only for activation, with lower scores in girls. The interaction effect between sex and language was significant for all variables and was due mainly to lower stress in girls using another language than Swedish at home. CONCLUSION: This new stress scale has some promising qualities like a condensed format, basis in a specific stress concept and formulated to be as age and culture independent as possible. Immigrant girls seem to perceive less stress than Swedish born girls, which opens up for questions about protective mechanisms.