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Ectopic Pregnancy

David A. Eschenbach, MD; Janet R. Daling, PhD
JAMA. 1983;249(13):1759-1760. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330370069038.
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Two reports (pp 1725 and 1730) in this issue again emphasize the dramatic increase in the number of ectopic pregnancies that have been diagnosed during the past ten to 20 years. A twofold increase in the rate of ectopic pregnancy has been documented during the last ten-year period, and rates generally have been rising at an even faster pace during the past five years.1-4 This increase in ectopic rates has occurred among a wide variety of populations in many industrialized countries.

The annual number of ectopic pregnancies in the United States is now estimated to be 40,000, compared with 15,000 to 18,000 during the years 1965 to 1970.4 The occurrence of this large number of ectopic pregnancies represents a tremendous amount of morbidity for women in the reproductive age group. The presence of an ectopic pregnancy subjects the woman to the uncertainties of intra-abdominal bleeding, the performance of


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