Arrested pregnancy syndrome in Haiti: Findings from a national survey

Jeannine Coreil, Debora L. Barnes-Josiah, Antoine Augustin, Michel Cayemittes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This report describes findings from a national survey of pregnant women in Haiti regarding the social epidemiology of pedisyon (perdition), or "arrested pregnancy syndrome," a condition believed to be associated with infertility. Data collected on mortality of respondents' sisters were used to indirectly measure the prevalence of this culture-bound syndrome in the adult female population and to compare its distribution in urban and rural areas. Perdition appears to be a fairly common event that affects a large proportion of Haitian women. Reported cases of pedisyon were significantly higher in urban areas, which also differed from rural areas on respondent education, economic status, use of prenatal care, and fertility. No differences were found on sociodemographic, health, or fertility variables when women reporting perdition deaths were compared with women who reported other sister deaths. The utility and limitations of the proxy respondent method are discussed. Possible explanations for the higher rate of pedisyon among urban Haitian women are discussed, and suggestions are made for future research on arrested pregnancy syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-436
Number of pages13
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture-bound illness
  • Haiti
  • Infertility
  • Proxy respondent method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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