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Vaginal progesterone gel may improve infant outcomes and...
Date:10/2/2007

20267">http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/99020267.

Based on the statistically significant findings in the secondary analysis, we are moving forward with a follow-up study using PROCHIEVE 8%, stated Robert S. Mills, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Laboratories. It is estimated that of the more than 4.1 million live births in the U.S. each year, up to 30 percent of pregnant mothers have a cervical length less than or equal to 3.0 centimeters in mid-pregnancy. This includes many women with first-time pregnancies, the group that has the largest number of premature babies each year. We look forward to publishing the results of the next study.

A normal pregnancy is about 40 weeks. Preterm birth before 37 weeks gestation is a leading cause of infant and neonatal death, continues to rise, and occurs in more than 12 percent of pregnancies in the United States. The negative health effects of preterm birth go far beyond the first days of life; preterm birth is associated with a high prevalence of severe neurological deficits and developmental disabilities.

These negative health outcomes have economic implications, as well. A 2005 March of Dimes study found that employers pay nearly 15 times more in direct healthcare coverage costs for babies born prematurely in their first year of life than for full term babies, with an average cost of $41,610 for a premature baby vs. $2,830 for a healthy, full-term baby. In a separate analysis, the March of Dimes estimates that in 2002, almost half of hospital charges for premature infants, or about $7.4 billion, were billed to employers and other private insurers. This estimate was derived using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

"Preterm birth has such a profound effect on both babies and their families that any research that can help us understand how to prevent preterm birth is a significant advance," said Susan
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Contact: Kathleen Cosgrove
kathleen.cosgrove@mslpr.com
617-937-2534
Columbia Laboratories, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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