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Analysis of Millions of U.S. Births Shows Association Between Birth Defects and Preterm Birth
Date:5/20/2008

sociation was strongest among very preterm babies," said Joann Petrini, Ph.D., MPH, director of the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, who also co-authored the study. "This study highlights the importance of understanding the possible shared causes and risk factors that lead to preterm birth among those infants affected by major birth defects."

Very preterm babies, those born between 24 and 31 weeks gestation, were five times as likely as full-term infants to have a birth defect. The most common birth defects for this group were central nervous system defects, such as spina bifida, and cardiovascular defects, such as a hole in the heart.

"The Association Between Major Birth Defects and Preterm Birth" by Honein, et al. was published online this week at:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-008-0348-y. The article is available free of charge.

Springer Science+Business Media (http://www.springer.com) is one of the world's leading suppliers of scientific and specialist literature. It is the second-largest publisher of journals in the science, technology, and medicine (STM) sector and the largest publisher of STM books. The group publishes more than 1,700 journals and more than 5,500 new books a year, as well as the largest STM eBook Collection worldwide.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies(SM), the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. And for detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit PeriStats at http://www.marchofdimes.com/peristats.


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SOURCE March of Dimes
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