Research news: March 2011
N Engl J Med2011;364:332-9
Between 1995 and 2007, 84 620 Danish women and girls had a first trimester abortion. They were no more likely to see a psychiatrist in the 12 months afterwards than they were in the nine months before, a study has found. Early medical or surgical abortion does not seem to increase the short term risk of mental illness, say the authors, at least not in Denmark where first trimester abortion is legal, widely available, easily accessible, and free.
Incidence rates of inpatient or outpatient psychiatric contact barely changed after abortion (from 14.6 per 1000 person years (95% CI 13.7 to 15.6) to 15.2 (14.4 to 16.1); P=0.19), but went up significantly after first childbirth (from 3.9 per 1000 person years (3.7 to 4.2) to 6.7 (6.4 to 7.0); P<0.001) in a comparison cohort of 280 930 girls and women who delivered their first baby during the same period.