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Stillbirth gap closing between indigenous and non-indigenous women, shows Australian study
Date:9/2/2014

ong non-indigenous women, there was an increase in stillbirth rates of 36.3% before 24 weeks gestation and decreases in the weeks following that. Overall, the difference in stillbirth rates reduced between indigenous and non-indigenous women for all gestational ages except for more than 37 weeks, where the difference increased by 18%.

At term (over 37 weeks) the researchers found that indigenous women had an increased risk of stillbirth due to maternal conditions and perinatal infection. For example, indigenous women had a six-fold increased risk of stillbirth due to diabetes, a three-fold increased risk of stillbirth due to spontaneous preterm birth and an increased risk of stillbirth due to hypertension, fetal growth restriction and antepartum haemorrhage.

Ibinabo Ibiebele, is the co-author of the study and a PhD student working with the Mater Research Institute and the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She said:

"This study shows that the gap in stillbirth rates is narrowing between indigenous and non-indigenous women except at term where we identified a number of preventable conditions such as diabetes, infection and fetal growth restriction.

"With the appropriate help and interventions there is an opportunity to further reduce the number of term stillbirths among indigenous women.

"It is vital that there is high quality antenatal care at all levels available for indigenous women which is culturally sensitive and incorporates diabetes management, smoking cessation, STI screening and folic acid supplementation to improve pregnancy outcomes."

John Thorp, BJOG deputy editor-in-chief said:

"This is a very interesting study as it looks at a large number of women over a long time period.

"Stillbirth is devastating for families and it is encouraging to see the gap in rates is closing between indigenous and non-indigenous women. This study fu
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Contact: Nicole Weingartner
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
201-748-5808
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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