Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences
Skip Navigation Links
Available Issues
Editorial Board
Information for Authors
Review Process
Links and Contacts
  Zanko J Med Sci:  Dec. 2016; 20 (3): 1424-1432

Prevalence and risk factors of abortion among a sample of married women in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Fatema Mohammed Azo*, Cuma AKBAY**

* Soran Polytechnic University, Erbil, Iraq.

** Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras, Turkey.


Background and objective: A high proportion of maternal mortality in developing countries is caused by abortion, especially in such countries with limited abortion laws. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of abortion and investigate the relationship between abortion among women and their socio-demographic and obstetrical causative variables in Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Methods: The data for the research came from 7551 married women aged 15-49 years from three governorates of Kurdistan Region who participated in the 2011 multiple indicator cluster survey. Data were collected during the period from February 13th, to March 18th, 2011 in the Kurdistan region. Logistic regression analysis was done at the binary level to determine the effect of demographic and obstetrical factors on abortion.

Results: The results showed that the prevalence of abortion in this study was 27.7%, and there was statistically significant relationship between abortion and maternal age, the higher level of education, socio-economic levels (excluding middle level), the age of marriage, the number of live children, and governorate (Duhok). There was no significant relationship between abortion and residence, occupation, type of marriage and governorate (Suleymaniye). 

Conclusion: Significant relationship was found between ages, the number of live children, Residence, level of education and social economic status of women.

Keywords: Abortion; Risk factors; Prevalence; Married women.


1. Pillitteri A. Maternal and Child Health Nursing: Care of the Childbearing and Childbearing Family. 5th ed. Buffalo, New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007. P. 215-405.

2. Bozkurt IA, Özcirpici B, Ozgur S, Shahinoz S, Shahinoz T, Saka G, et al. Induced abortion and affecting factors of ever married women in the Southeast Anatolian Project Region, Turkey: a cross sectional study. BMC Public Health 2004; 4(1):65.

3. Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, BloomSL, Hauth JC, Gilstrap L, Wenstrom K.Williams OBSTETRICS. 23rd ed. USA: McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. P. 215-16.

4. Cheng L. "Surgical versus medical methods for second-trimester induced abortion: RHL commentary (last revised: 1 November 2008)." The WHO reproductive health library; 2008. Available from:

5. Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Boden JM. Reactions to abortion and subsequent mental health. Br J Psychiatry 2009; 195(5):420-6.

6. Guttmacher Institute. Facts on induced abortion worldwide. New York; 2012. Available from:

7. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Policies. New York, United Nations; 2013.

8. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Abortion Policies. Oman to Zimbabwe (vol. 3). New York, United Nations; 2001.

9. Walker J. Methodology, Application: Logistic Regression Using the Data. Developed for department of transportation, national highway traffic safety administration (NHTS), Washington, DC, April 30, 1996.

10. Field A. Discovering Statistics Using SPSS. 3rded. London: SAGE Publication Ltd; 2009. P. 265-72.

11. Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology and Kurdistan Regional Statistical Office, 2007. Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2006. Final Report. Iraq.

12. Ranjbar F, Shirzad M, Kamali K, Akhondi MM, Ghoodjani A, Behjati-Ardakani Z, et al. Fertility behaviour of Iranian women: A community-based, cross-sectional study. Arch Iran Med 2015; 18(1):2–5.

13. Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies: Turkey Demographic and Health Survey, 2008. Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies, Ministry of Health General Directorate of Mother and Child Health and Family Planning, T.R. Prime Ministry Undersecretary of State Planning Organization and TÜBÄ°TAK, Ankara, Turkey; 2009.

14. Jones RK, Jerman J. Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States 2011: incidence and access to services. Perspect Sex Reprod Health 2011; 40(1):6-16.

15. Historical abortion statistics, Russia. Compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston. (Last updated 18 January 2015). Available from: ab-russia.html

16. Mosoko JJ, Delvaux T, Glynn JR, Zekeng L, Macauley L,Buve A. Induce abortion among women attending antenatal clinics in Yaounde, Cameroon. East Afr Med J 2004; 81:71-7.

17. Pourreza A, Batebi A. Psychological consequences of abortion among the post abortion care seeking women in Tehran. Iranian J psychiatry 2011; 6(1):31-6.

18. Westoff Charles F. Recent trends in abortion and contraception in 12 countries. DHS Analytical Studies No.8. Calverton, Maryland: ORC Macro 2005.

19. Al-Nuaim L, Bamqboye EA, Abotalib Z, Chowdhury N, Adelusi B. Demographic and fertility variables as determinants of spontaneous abortions in women with previous abortion. Afr J Med Med Sci 1997; 27(3-4):165-7.

20. Majlessi F, Forooshani AR, Shariat M. Prevalence of induced abortion and associated complications in women attending hospitals in Isfahan. East Mediterr Health J 2008; 14(1): 103-9.

21. Erfani A. "Induced abortion in Tehran, Iran: estimated rates and correlates. Int Perspect Sex Reprod Health 2011; 37(3):134-42.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.