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Infant mortality linked to subsequent risk of stillbirth finds new US study
Date:9/20/2011

ost-neonatal death by race was also reviewed and the researchers found that black women had the highest rates of stillbirth in subsequent pregnancy. Looking specifically at neonatal death, black women were more than nine times as likely to experience stillbirth as white women (AHR=9.46).

The study also found that women with infant death in the first pregnancy were more likely to be black, obese, and smoke during pregnancy.

When comparing birth weight of infants associated with the second pregnancy, infants born to mothers with prior infant death were, on average, 293 grams smaller than those born to mothers whose previous infant survived their first year of life.

In addition, pregnancy complications were almost twice as frequent among mothers who experienced infant death during their first pregnancy, as compared to those whose infants survived their first year of life (10.91% versus 6.66%).

Dr Hamisu Salihu, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of South Florida, College of Public Health and principal investigator said:

"Our findings show that there are large disparities in infant mortality rates between white and black women and highlight the need for improved public health efforts to reduce infant mortality.

"It is important that clinicians note the potential risk for subsequent stillbirth following infant mortality when they speak with patients in the period preceding their next pregnancy."

Professor Philip Steer, BJOG Editor-in-Chief said:

"Stillbirth and infant death are a terrible loss and traumatic for any mother and family. Women with a previous infant death need additional support and advice concerning any subsequent pregnancies.

"Obesity and smoking in pregnancy are known risk factors for stillbirth and advice needs to be centred on pre-conception health so a woman can be as healthy as possible before, during and after pregnancy."


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Contact: Amy Molnar
healthnews@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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