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  1. Dunn, Alexis B. PhD, CNM
  2. Dunlop, Anne L. MD, MPH
  3. Miller, Andrew H. MD
  4. Hogue, Carol J. PhD, MPH
  5. Crofton, Jordan M. BA
  6. Corwin, Elizabeth J. PhD, RN, FAAN


Complement activation is essential for select physiologic processes during pregnancy; however, excess activation has been associated with an increased risk for preterm birth (PTB). African American (AA) women experience disproportionately higher rates of inflammation-associated PTB than other groups of women; thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between complement activation and perinatal outcomes among AA women. A plasma sample was collected between 8 and 14 weeks' gestation from a cohort of healthy AA women (N = 144) enrolled in a larger PTB cohort study. Medical record review was conducted to collect information on clinical factors (cervical length, health behaviors, gestational age at delivery). Multiple regression analysis was used to explore the relationships between complement marker (C3a/Bb) concentrations and the outcomes of interest after adjusting for baseline characteristics. C3a/Bb concentrations were not significant predictors of the gestational age at delivery, cervical length, or behavioral risk factors for PTB in this sample. Complement markers may not influence pregnancy outcomes among AA women in the same way as in predominantly white populations; however, more studies are needed to define complement dysregulation and the relationship with outcomes among AA women.