Navigation Links
Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family history, infection and stress all may play a role in raising a woman's risk of having a premature baby – but they don't fully explain why some women give birth too soon and others don't, according to a review article published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Only if scientists of all disciplines work together and share information – databases, biological samples and new perspectives – will the research community be able to determine how to prevent spontaneous preterm birth and spare babies from the serious consequences of an early birth, according to "The Enigma of Spontaneous Preterm Birth," by Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Michael Katz, MD, senior vice president for Research and Global Program at the March Dimes.

Premature birth is a leading cause of infant death in the United States, and only about half of these deaths have a known cause, Drs. Muglia and Katz note.

More than 543,000 babies are born too soon each year in the United States.  Worldwide, about 13 million babies are born prematurely each year.  Babies who survive an early birth face serious risks of lifelong health problems, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss and other chronic conditions.

Medical problems, such as preeclampsia, which is extremely high blood pressure in the mother, or fetal distress, do not fully explain the increase of induced deliveries, which often result in late preterm births, birth between 32 and 36 weeks gestation.  

"The decision to induce delivery in order to improve fetal viability must be balanced by recognition of the need to minimize the impairments that arise from preterm birth," the authors wrote. "Making this decision will remain a challenge for practitioners, because inducing delivery – by whatever method – before full term has adverse consequences for the newborn, even when it happens close to term."

Family history of preterm birth, stress, race, infection, inflammation and genetics do appear to play a role.  One of every three preterm births occurs to a mother who has an infection in her uterus, but may have no symptoms. Recent research has shown that the genes of the mother seem to make the greatest contribution to preterm birth risk, and genes in the fetus may also play a role.

The New England Journal of Medicine review article is a summary of a three-day symposium held in December 2008, entitled "Preventing Prematurity: Establishing a Network for Innovation and Discovery." It was cosponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the March of Dimes and brought together the top investigators in preterm birth prevention research.

The authors note in their article that technological advances allow clinicians to save premature infants from death and some complications by treating the consequences of prematurity. However, "prevention is what is needed, and current research is being directed toward reaching this goal," the authors wrote.

The third biennial symposium, a meeting by invitation only, will be held in December, 2010.

The article was published in the Feb. 11, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 362, No. 6, pages 529-35.

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. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
2. School-based overweight prevention program may cut risk of eating disorders among girls
4. Jump in Youth Suicide Prompts National Childrens Charity KidsPeace to Issue Tips on Prevention, Warning Signs
5. ABQAURP Announces Certificate Course in Medical Error Prevention
6. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
7. Experts Offer Tips on Lung Cancer Prevention
8. Meth Project Advertisements Selected for National Prevention Campaign
9. SAVE Recognizes National Suicide Prevention Week
10. Updated GOLD report presents new understandings in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of COPD
11. GP targets on heart disease should be simpler and based more on treatment and prevention
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An unlikely combination ... in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified and comfortable ... initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its ... comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical ... name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and monitoring. Their Care Plan software creates an agreement between the practice ... care plan, including financial, scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click here ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... New patients ... without a referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. ... experienced in the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can lead to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ThirdLove, ... Friday sale a week early, offering 40% off select bras and underwear styles, ... industry through both mobile fit technology and the latest fashion, quickly becoming the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Kitov Pharma ceuticals ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutic ... today announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the Company, ... ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed combination ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) (TSX: ... and CEO, will discuss corporate updates at the 27 th ... York on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1 ... Relations, and then the link to the event. Participants should ... to visit the site and download any streaming media software ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies ... pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research . ... all play a key role in boosting the profitability ... . --> Developmental, commercial, and ... the profitability of pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: