Short Interpregnancy Intervals Among Women Experiencing Homelessness in Colorado

Researchers from The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, alongside other collaborators, are exploring the critical issue of short interpregnancy intervals (SIPIs) among women without stable housing in Colorado. Their study used data from several sources, including the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD), Homeless Management Information System, death records, and infant birth records, to analyze the experiences of 77,494 women, of which 636 were identified as experiencing homelessness. The comprehensive analysis, recently published in JAMA Network Open, sheds light on the increased likelihood of SIPIs — defined as periods shorter than 18 months between pregnancies — among homeless women compared to those with stable housing.

The findings reveal a marked disparity, indicating that homelessness is associated with higher odds of SIPIs, a condition known to be associated with higher risks of adverse outcomes for both birthing individuals and their newborns, such as increased rates of preterm birth and lower birth weights. Additionally, the research carefully explores how these challenges intersect with various demographics, noting that the impact of unstable housing on reproductive health outcomes does not affect all communities equally. Results indicate varied associations across different groups, with evidence suggesting Hispanic women experience a greater risk compared to non-Hispanic Black and White women.

This research highlights the need for nuanced, personalized health interventions and support systems that address the unique circumstances and needs of each individual, moving beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. By adopting a holistic approach to care, there's potential to significantly improve reproductive health outcomes for individuals experiencing housing instability, ensuring that interventions are as inclusive and effective as possible. The insights gained from this research underline the critical role of accessible and equitable healthcare services in supporting the well-being of all community members, particularly those facing the compounded challenges of housing instability.

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