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Major breakthrough in preventing premature birth announced by NIH/WSU
Date:4/6/2011

th and 24th weeks of pregnancy. Pregnant women with a short cervix (one that is < 20mm) are at very high risk for preterm delivery.

Dr. Romero added that, once a high-risk mother for preterm delivery has been identified, she can be offered treatment with progesterone. Of major interest is that progesterone reduced the risk of preterm delivery not only at < 33 weeks, but also at < 28 weeks (one of the secondary endpoints of the study). It also reduced the rate of respiratory distress syndrome, the most common complication of premature babies.

"We believe that the data in our study speaks for itself and we predict that it will have major implications for obstetrics."

"The findings of the study are especially good news for expectant mothers in Detroit," said Dr. Hassan. "Preterm delivery has long been a major healthcare problem in the city." In 2008, more than 17 percent of births Detroit were preterm and they accounted for more than 70 percent of the infant mortality recorded in that year, according to the latest research from the Michigan Chapter of the March of Dimes.

The city's high infant mortality, preterm delivery rate and ethnic disparity in birth outcomes were important considerations in the NIH's decision to establish the PRB in Detroit nine years ago. The presence of the PRB in Detroit allows women to obtain state-of-the-art medical care and join medical studies to improve prenatal diagnosis, monitor fetal growth, predict preeclampsia and prevent preterm birth.

The study was conducted at 44 centers worldwide during the past three years. The study included patients from the United States, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and screened more than 32,000 women for a short cervix.

Describing the startling results, which showed that the rate of preterm birth among the women with a short cervix had been reduced by 45 percent, Dr. Hassan director of the Wayne State/PRB/DMC Maternal-Fetal Medicine F
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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