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February 1989

TEARS: Does Domestic Violence Play a Role?

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Maricopa Medical Center Phoenix, AZ 85010

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(2):137-138. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140019004

Sir.—In the May 1988 issue of AJDC, Garza and colleagues1 report on the epidemiology of the early amnion rupture spectrum of defects (TEARS). One of their conclusions is that young, black, multigravida mothers are at increased risk for having newborns with these defects. They suggest that the higher prevalence of TEARS among this group may be due to ascertainment bias.

Although the primary cause of the early amnion rupture spectrum remains idiopathic, at least some cases have been attributed to trauma.2 It is interesting to note that the group with the highest prevalence of TEARS is also a group that is at higher risk for maternal trauma due to domestic violence. In a prevalence study of domestic violence during pregnancy, Helton et al3 found that 8% of women gave a history of battering during their current pregnancy. The women who were battered during pregnancy were younger

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