Ectopic Pregnancy Rate Steady From 2002 to 2007

Rate was higher in older women; methotrexate treatment up from 11.1 to 35.1 percent
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of ectopic pregnancy held steady among teens and women from 2002 to 2007, both overall and among five-year age groups, according to research published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Karen W. Hoover, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from an administrative claims database of more than 200 American commercial health plans.

From 2002 to 2007, the researchers noted 11,989 ectopic pregnancies in women aged 15 to 44 years. The overall rate of ectopic pregnancy was 0.64 percent, and remained unchanged during the study period. No trends were seen in the rate of ectopic pregnancy in five-year age groups; however, the rate increased with age, at 0.3 percent in teenagers and 1 percent in women aged 35 to 44 years. The use of methotrexate increased from 11.1 to 35.1 percent during this period.

"Our estimate is lower than that from a national estimate based on hospital discharges in the National Hospital Discharge Survey during 1990 to 1992 that estimated an annual rate among all pregnancies that ranged from 1.0 to 2.0 percent," the authors write. "The prevalence of gonorrhea decreased from 1988 to 1996, and has remained low through 2007. Thus, pelvic inflammatory disease and subsequent ectopic pregnancies attributable to gonococcal infections also would have decreased."

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