Navigation Links
New Research Shows Genes of Pregnant Women and Their Fetuses Can Increase the Risk of Preterm Labor

March of Dimes Awards Abstract at SMFM Meeting

CHICAGO, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New evidence that genetics play a significant role in some premature births may help explain why a woman can do everything right and still give birth too soon.

Research presented today at the 30th Annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) meeting ― The Pregnancy Meeting™ ― showed that the genes of both the mother and the fetus can make them susceptible to an inflammatory response that increases the risk of preterm labor and birth.

Silent, undetected infections and inflammation are major risk factors for preterm labor and birth, says SMFM member Roberto Romero, MD, Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. One of every three preterm births occurs to a mother who has an infection in her uterus, but has no symptoms.

Dr. Romero led a team of physicians and scientists studying a large number of genes involved in the control of labor that could help explain the complex process that triggers preterm birth. They found DNA variants in genes involved in fighting infection in the pregnant woman and the fetus. Although these variants increased the risk of preterm labor and birth, they have been preserved by evolution because they are needed to fight infection, Dr. Romero said.

Premature birth is a leading cause of infant death in the United States, and babies who survive face serious lifelong health problems. More than 543,000 babies are born too soon each year, and the nation's preterm birth rate has increased 36 percent since the early 1980s. Worldwide, about 13 million babies are born prematurely each year.

"This research gives us even more evidence as to the relationship between genetics and preterm birth and is a step toward personalized medicine," said Alan R. Fleischman, MD, medical director of the March of Dimes. "This has the potential to allow us to identify a woman who is at risk for delivering early and provide her with specialized, individualized care so that she may carry her baby to term, and help give more babies a healthy start in life."

All patients in the case-control study had at least one prior spontaneous preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of gestation). The study extracted DNA from the cord blood and maternal blood of more than 800 pregnant Hispanic women and their fetuses, and then genotyped more than 700 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 190 candidate genes that may predispose to preterm birth.

Fetuses that carried a SNP gene variation in IL6R, which influences inflammation, had twice the risk of preterm birth.  DNA variants in maternal genes also increased the risk of preterm birth. Together these factors provide new evidence that genetic predisposition to preterm birth can depend on the DNA of both mother and fetus and how the two interact.

Today's award-winning study, "Identification of Fetal and Maternal Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Candidate Genes that Predispose to Spontaneous Preterm Labor with Intact Membranes," is the seventh study by SMFM members to be honored by the March of Dimes for innovative research focused on preventing premature birth. The March of Dimes is conducting a national Prematurity Campaign aimed at using research and awareness to reduce the increasing rate of premature birth.

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (est. 1977) is a nonprofit membership group for obstetricians/gynecologists who have additional formal education and training in maternal-fetal medicine. The society is devoted to reducing high-risk pregnancy complications by educating its 2000 members on the latest pregnancy assessment and treatment methods. It serves as an advocate for improving public policy, and expanding research funding and opportunities for maternal-fetal medicine. The group hosts an annual scientific meeting in which new ideas and research in the area of maternal-fetal medicine are unveiled and discussed. For more information, visit

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, 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 or

SOURCE March of Dimes



SOURCE March of Dimes
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
5. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
6. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
9. HIVs impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research
10. U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
11. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, ... Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in ... the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market ... the report includes the following: , World ... Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a ... invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today ... The Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, ... and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will ... and the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: