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Women Born Early More Apt to Have Preterm Baby
Date:5/24/2010

Study suggests an inherited predisposition to delivering early,,

MONDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who were born early are themselves more likely to give birth to a baby who isn't full-term, a new study suggests.

The same finding applies to women who weren't born early but had one or more siblings who were born preterm, according to a team of Scottish researchers.

"There was a suspicion that preterm birth might be linked with previous experience of preterm birth in the family," said Dr. Siladitya Bhattacharya, senior author of the study and a professor of reproductive medicine at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, in Aberdeen.

So Bhattacharya and his team of researchers evaluated 22,343 pregnancies in Scotland that occurred among 13,845 daughters born to 11,576 different mothers, spanning a period of 60 years.

When the researchers looked at women who had been born preterm (single deliveries, not multiple births) and were pregnant for the first time, they found a higher risk for early birth compared with those not born preterm.

"The mums who themselves were born preterm are 60 percent more likely to have a preterm baby themselves in their first pregnancy," Bhattacharya said.

That risk for early birth declined slightly, to about 50 percent, for preterm women experiencing a second or subsequent pregnancy, he said.

Preterm was considered any birth that occurred at 24 to 37 weeks of gestation. Preterm birth is the leading cause of death and illness of newborns in the developed world, accounting for 60 percent of deaths and serious complications after delivery, according to the study.

The findings were published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dr. William H. Barth Jr., chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal, said the new study is useful because it confirms
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