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Researchers aim to prevent global prematurity and stillbirths
Date:2/18/2008

SEATTLE: Feb. 18, 2008 Seattle Childrens Hospital Research Institute announced today that it has received a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study ways to prevent global prematurity and stillbirth. Prematurity claims the lives of over 1 million newborn babies worldwide each year. It is the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States with over 10,000 babies dying each year. Over 3 million babies are stillborn each year worldwide, and it is believed that many of these deaths are caused by the same factors that cause prematurity. The grant will be used to review current published literature and identify opportunities for new areas of research to reduce the incidence of prematurity and stillbirths worldwide. Seattle Childrens is spearheading the study and will host an international summit in Seattle in 2009 to bring together the worlds foremost experts in this field.

Prematurity and stillbirth contribute to a significant burden of disease worldwide, and there is an urgent need to learn more about the causes and develop effective preventive measures, said Dan Kraushaar, ScD, MPH, Deputy Director for Integrated Health Solutions Development at the Gates Foundation. According to The Lancet, there are millions of stillbirths and countless premature births every year in developing countries, and the problem may be under-counted due to poorly functioning vital events registration systems in these countries. In addition, maternal mortality rates can be very high following stillbirths.

In the U.S., neonatal intensive care units see the devastating effect of premature births every day, said Thomas N. Hansen, MD, CEO at Childrens Hospital and Regional Medical Center and a co-investigator. Parents the world over need to know the medical community is coming together to address this universal global issue. Childrens is pleased to join ranks with other groundbreaking researchers together we can all contribute to improv
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Contact: Jennifer Seymour
jennifer.seymour@seattlechildrens.org
206-987-5207
Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle
Source:Eurekalert

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