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ABSTRACT: To determine the incidence of pregnancy among active injection-drug users and to identify factors associated with becoming pregnant.
The Vancouver Injection Drug User Study (VIDUS) is a prospective cohort study that began in 1996. Women who had completed a baseline and at least one follow-up questionnaire between June 1996 and January 2002 were included in the study. Parametric and non-parametric methods were used to compare characteristics of women who reported pregnancy over the study period with those who did not over the same time period.
A total of 104 women reported a primary pregnancy over the study period. The incidence of pregnancy over the follow-up period was 6.46 (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.24-7.87) per 100 person-years. The average age of women who reported pregnancy was younger than that of women who did not report pregnancy (27 vs. 32 years, p < 0.001). Women of Aboriginal ethnicity were more likely to report pregnancy (odds ratio 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.5). Comparison of drug use showed no significant differences in pregnancy rate with respect to the use of heroin, cocaine or crack (p > 0.05). In examining sexual behavior, women who reported having had a regular partner in the previous 6 months were three times more likely to have reported pregnancy. Despite the fact that 67% of women in this study reported using some form of contraception, the use of reliable birth control was low. Only 5% of women in our study reported the use of hormonal contraceptives.
There were a high number of pregnancies among high-risk women in this cohort. This corresponded with very low uptake of reliable contraception. Innovative strategies to provide reproductive health services to at-risk women who are injecting drugs is a public health priority.
The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 03/2003; 8(1):52-8. · 1.81 Impact Factor